Heather Knight of England bats watched by Alyssa Healy of Australia during day two of the Women's Test match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Manuka Oval

Spirit of 2005: How England can stun Australia to reclaim the Women’s Ashes

Women’s Ashes

By Martin Pegan

Hit For Six!

Australia have held the Women’s Ashes since 2015 but Nasser Hussain reveals how he believes England can take back the urn in a preview of the multi-format series between the arch-rivals.

The present-day Australia Women’s outfit have claims to being the most dominant cricket team ever, with the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and ICC Women’s T20 World Cup titles currently within their grasp among multiple other accolades.

Australia have also had two hands firmly around the Women’s Ashes since 2015, topping the points tally in three of the four multi-format series since then while England won the last two T20Is to salvage a tie in 2017-18.

Past performance might count against England reclaiming the Women’s Ashes in the one Test, three T20Is and three ODIs to come, but Nasser Hussain believes they have already taken one critical step toward causing an upset on home soil.

“If you go in thinking ‘we can't beat them’, then you’re beaten already,” Hussain told The ICC Review

“I like some of the chatter coming out of the England camp. We did a thing for the ICC with (England Women's captain) Heather Knight and she was quite bullish with the fact that ‘we believe we can beat them’.

“If your captain doesn't have that attitude, then you're at a bad starting point. 

“The talk from the England camp is we firmly believe that they are beatable, and that's the only way.”

England will be led by Knight and an attack now missing stalwarts Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Sciver-Brunt, but with a group of spinners out to make an impact with the red Dukes ball that is set to be used for the first time in a Women's Ashes Test.

Sophie Ecclestone - the No.1 bowler in the ICC MRF Tyres Women’s ODI and T20I rankings - is one tweaker expected to shine in the rare five-day clash as well as in the limited-overs clashes.

Australia skipper Meg Lanning has been ruled out of the Women's Ashes for medical reasons, with wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy set to take the reins as captain in her absence.

Healy will drop down the batting order from her usual role as an opener while taking on the extra responsibility, with Beth Mooney expected to start the series partnering Phoebe Litchfield or Annabel Sutherland against the new ball.

Litchfield and Sutherland received an opportunity as an opener during Australia’s warm-up match against England A and the latter scored a century in fine style to give selectors plenty to ponder.

Video Women’s T20 World Cup 26 Feb 23
Australia beat South Africa to claim an incredible sixth title | Women's T20WC 2023
Match highlights as Meg Lanning’s Australia beat South Africa in an entertaining final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in Cape Town.

Hussain knows what it is like to come up against a rampant opponent, after taking on the commanding Australian men’s teams of the 1990s and early 2000s.

But the former England men’s captain has also seen how the mighty fall, and hopes the women’s team can take inspiration from another shock result between the rivals.

“I played in an England side that played against Australia. It was that sort of mindset of, ‘crikey Shane Warne again, Glenn McGrath again, can we beat him?’ Hussain said. 

“In 2005, Michael Vaughan's Ashes side went, ‘yeah, we can beat him’ and did that.

“That would be my recommendation to Heather and her team; have real belief that you can beat this Australian side, because if you put them under pressure any side can crumble. 

“But it's the putting them under pressure that's important.”

Women’s Ashes format

The Women’s Ashes is played across three formats with the 2023 series to include one Test, three T20Is and three ODIs.  

Four points are up for grabs for a Test victory, while the teams will each earn two points for a draw.

Two points will be awarded for a win in each of the six white-ball matches.

The Test will be a five-day contest for the first time in the history of the multi-format Women’s Ashes series.

Australia took out the last Women's Ashes series in 2022 with 12 points as England failed to win a match but earned four points from two washed out T20Is and a drawn Test.

Captains’ call

“I’m so excited. It feels like, the women’s game, it has been coming a long time to be playing at those big grounds, playing at Trent Bridge. I’ve never played there in my career.”.

“Five days as well, I’ve been fighting for five days for a long time. But hopefully we’re going to win it in two-and-a-half.”

- Heather Knight, England captain told the ECB

“An opportunity to lead a side in an Ashes series is one that doesn’t come around to many people.” 

“It’s important that I put my own spin on this group without stepping on too many toes.“

“I’m just going to do what I can to lead the side the best that I can and hopefully just get the girls in a position where they are confident enough to execute their skills and win games for Australia.”

- Alyssa Healy, Australia captain told Sky Sports

Video Women’s T20 World Cup 22 Feb 23
Best of Alyssa Healy | Women's T20WC 2023
Best of Alyssa Healy for Australia at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023

Women’s Ashes squads

England Test squad: Heather Knight (c), Nat Sciver-Brunt (vc), Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, Amy Jones, Emma Lamb, Issy Wong, Danielle Wyatt

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

England have already named their XI for the one-off Test starting on June 22nd.

Video Women’s T20 World Cup 21 Jun 23
Best of Nat Sciver-Brunt | Women's T20WC 2023
All-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt starred for England at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023

Women’s Ashes fixtures

Test: June 22-26 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham

First T20I: July 1 at Edgbaston, Birmingham
Second T20I: July 5 at The Oval, London
Third T20I: July 8 at Lord’s, London

First ODI: July 12 at Bristol County Ground, Bristol
Second ODI: July 16 at The Rose Bowl, Southampton
Third ODI: July 18 at The County Ground, Taunton


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