Women’s Ashes tweaks bowl over Lanning

Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning says Australia have an advantage on their English counterparts before a ball has been bowled in the women’s Ashes.

Lanning believes two tweaks to the format can help Australia reclaim the Ashes and win a first away series since 2001.

Unlike Michael Clarke’s side, the women’s Ashes is fought over the three different formats of the game.

This year, instead of facing off first in a Test match like the previous series, three One Day Internationals will begin the seven-week tour.

When the Test – to be played in Canterbury from August 11 – does arrive, it will be worth just four points and not six.

Lanning said the two decisions combined to help Australia, the dominant 50-over side and six-time World Cup winners.

“The Test was probably overweighted in the past especially given we don’t play many of them,” she told AAP.

“The move to four points is a lot more even … and the ODIs being at the start helps us.

“If we can get off to a good start then that will set us up for the rest of the series.”

Lanning hopes the series can provide a similar “lift-off” moment for her code just as the Matildas did for women’s football last month.

“It’s a really good chance for the public to embrace women’s cricket and the nation as well,” she said.

“We’ve got the men’s and the women’s teams over in England and we’re both trying for success.

“The game of cricket is in a really good place at the minute with really good media coverage and the public getting involved in women’s cricket, so hopefully it will only improve.”

Unlike the Matildas, the Southern Stars’ efforts won’t be seen on Australian television.

While UK broadcaster Sky Sports has committed to showing every ball of the series – a landmark move – Cricket Australia are currently in negotiations to show the matches through a subscription to their website.

Eight forthcoming Women’s Big Bash League matches will be shown on Channel Ten.

The series begins next Tuesday in Taunton, Somerset.

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