Rachael Haynes bats for more multi-day cricket and a robust domestic structure

Rachael Haynes bats for more multi-day cricket and a robust domestic structure

Rachael Haynes in action. © Getty Images

Australia’s vice-captain Rachael Haynes has appreciated the sheer number of Tests being organised but, she believes, the domestic multi-day setup should be in place if players are to succeed in the four-day format.

India recently played a Test against England, which occurred after a &ab_channel=Women%27sCricZone">gap of seven years for them. Their upcoming tour of Australia will include a historic pink-ball Test match at the WACA ground in Perth. Later in January 2022, Australia will lock horns with traditional foes England in the Ashes Test match.

This current rise in the Test matches is appreciated by players who do not get to participate in the longest format regularly. Haynes, who made her Test debut in 2009, firmly believes in the need of putting effort into creating a domestic structure that can help players flourish in the format.

"The difficult thing at the moment is we don’t play any long-form cricket (domestically)," Haynes was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au ahead of the beginning of busy summer for the Australian team.

"So it’s a real baptism of fire when your first opportunity to play that format is at the international level."

"I think it’s a real discussion point for administrators to try and address… if they’re committed (to playing Tests) they should be allowing players to play that four-day format (domestically) to replicate what you need to do at the next level."

In a current Australian domestic setup, a player, assuming she is fit for the entire season, gets to play a maximum of nine matches during the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL). This number is way less than their male counterparts who play multi-day Sheffield Shield competition and limited-overs One-Day Cup competition.

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It has been reported that there are calls for the WNCL to be in a home-and-away format for many years now. Domestic multi-day cricket has not been played in Australia since the 1990s. Even with a situation like this, Australia are better placed when it comes to professionalism in the domestic structure compared to many other countries.

"If you look at the landscape of international cricket at the moment, there’s only two countries in the world that have anything that remotely looks like a semi-professional domestic set-up," Haynes added.

"It really is a discussion point and something that all nations need to come to an understanding that if Test cricket is the way forward, there needs to be a commitment not just at international level but domestically as well. I do think there needs to be a good robust plan around how it is integrated into the wider cricket landscape."

According to recent reports, England are eyeing a Test match against South Africa in 2022, who have not played Test since 2014. "To play South Africa in a Test match would be awesome, not only in Australia but also in their country where we haven’t played a lot of cricket," she concluded.

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