Women's game is ready for five days of cricket, says Kate Cross

England are currently preparing for a four-day Ashes Test against Australia, but Kate Cross believes the women's game is ready for the step up to five-day matches.

England are set to take on Australia in Canberra on January 26, with four days of action scheduled.

Earlier this month, Australia won the opening T20 match-up, with the remaining two matches washed out. That meant the points were split between the sides, and with England trailing 4-2, Heather Knight's side need to avoid defeat to keep their Ashes hopes alive.

The women's side will be hoping to perform far better than the men did this winter, with the tourists receiving a 4-0 thumping Down Under.

But while we eagerly anticipate the series opener, England's Kate Cross thinks fans should be treated to an extra day of action.

"I think we're ready for five days of cricket now, I think historically that was around tour lengths and women apparently weren't fit enough to be able to manage five days but I think we're ready for that now," Cross said.

Frankly, four-day Tests are naturally going to result in more draws, and it's an issue that has plagued the results of the women's game for a while now, with England's last four Test matches all ending in draws.

The last time England won a series was against Australia back in the 2013/14 Ashes. By adding a fifth day, Cross believes many of the issues will be resolved.

"I think that would help with those draws that we keep getting," the England seamer said.

"I think if you play five days of cricket you're probably going to get more results out of women's Test matches so maybe that would be something we could look into moving forward."

The format has already been altered this winter, with the three T20 matches brought forward to start the series due to the Covid-19 quarantine rules.

It means both Australia and England will have to quickly adapt from playing T20 matches to Test matches - a challenge Cross thinks could decide the eventual winner of the series.

"A lot of the girls, as far as I'm aware, haven't touched a red ball since they got here so our preparation hasn't been ideal - it's not been what we had it down to be before we left around Christmastime so it's now going to be whichever team adapts the best to the conditions and manages to get out there and perform.

"If you were planning an Ashes preparation, this wouldn't have been it for us, this wouldn't have been written down so I think we've just got to make the most of it and hopefully the adrenaline of playing in a Test match gets us through.

"Having played more Test cricket in the last couple of years will stand us in a better stead than it would have done if we'd not played those games."

READ MORE: Disappointment for England and Australia as Women's Ashes T20 is abandoned

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