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What are the rules for a women’s Test match? - explained

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Women’s Test match cricket has been rapidly gaining popularity over the last few years. Having said that, it’s worth noting that there are numerous ways in which women’s Test match rules differ from that of men’s. Here what they are:

Match duration and overs per day

The most striking difference between men’s and women’s Test cricket is the number of days played. While a men’s Test match goes on for a maximum of five days, a women’s Test match lasts for a total of four days. This in turn brings about a change in the number of stipulated overs per day. In a five-day men’s Test match, at least 90 overs are expected to be bowled in a day’s action. However, in four-day women’s Tests, teams are expected to bowl at least 100 overs per day. 

Weight of the ball

The weight of the ball also differs upto a certain margin between men’s and women’s cricket. While a ball weighing 156 grams is used in men’s cricket, women use a 142-gram ball while in action. The weight of a cricket ball in women’s cricket is uniform across formats.

Playing area

The boundary size from the centre of the pitch is another differentiator as per the ICC playing conditions. In a women’s Test, the minimum size is kept as 55 meters from the centre of the pitch while the maximum is 64 meters. This changes to 59 meters and 82 meters respectively for men’s Test cricket. Like the weight of the cricket ball, the playing area in women’s cricket is the same across formats.

Follow-on rule

Another major difference between women and men’s Test cricket is that of the enforcement of the follow-on rule. Since a women’s Test is played for only four days, the number of runs needed to enforce the follow-on is a minimum of 150 as opposed to a minimum of 200 in case of a five-day men’s Test.

Decision Review System (DRS)

The Decision Review System (DRS) which allows players to question the umpire’s call has become a part of modern day cricket. While men’s Test cricket has the luxury of using the technology if a player is unhappy with an umpiring decision, women’s Test cricket does not offer players the same option yet. While on-field umpires can consult the third umpire in case of doubts, the implementation of DRS in women’s Test match cricket before too long would come as a welcome change.

Fielder absent

“Fielder absent” refers to a situation where a fielder has to leave the field on account of an injury or other circumstances. The maximum time limit allowed in such situations for players to return to the field in women’s Tests is 110 minutes while it is relaxed to 120 minutes in case of men’s Test cricket. The amount of time a player is off the field corresponds to the penalty time and delays his/her chances of coming into bat or bowl after the concerned individual returns to the field.

Featured photo : Manan Vatsyayana / AFP

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