Deja vu all over again? Maybe. But England's two-run victory over Australia in the women's one-day international at Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday was a quite historic occasion.
1Xtra, the BBC's digital black music radio channel, aired a documentary last Monday entitled "Men in White", which was essentially asking the question: "Is England a white sport dominated by class?" Considering that there are currently no players of Afro-Caribbean or Asian heritage in the England Test team, it's a salient point.
Cathryn Fitzpatrick had already held her 21st birthday party when Holly Colvin was born. Not turning sixteen till September 7, Colvin became the youngest Test cricketer for the English women on Tuesday. She paid dividends for England by taking three wickets on the opening day of the Hove Test against Australia - Kate Blackwell, Julia Price and Fitzpatrick - but at day's end was not allowed to talk to the media.
The women's Ashes Test series began at Hove on Tuesday. I don't know why the ECB insists on scheduling women's tours in parallel with their male compatriots. Australia had to do it in 2001 and England toured Australia as the men's tour was winding up in early 2003.
The women were first with a Cricket World Cup, holding their first in 1973 while the men didn't get started till 1975. Now the men have announced a medal for best player of the England-Australia Test series, five years after the women did the same.
Let this be the first and last time I use the buzzword "Twenty20" to describe what is nothing more than glorified 20 overs a side tippety-run like we used to play at school. The PCL (Pyjama Cricket Lite) game between England and Australia at the Rose Bowl, Southampton is about to start.
You've gotta hand it to Channel Seven. Sky Sports' coverage absolutely enhanced with Tony Squires anchoring their telecast in Sydney, Stuie MacGill alongside him for expert insights, and Boofhead Lehmann at the ground with the sideline mike.
Doesn't matter, I have the TV sound down and listening to BBC Five Live. Now this is amusing. Agnew drivelling about PCL being "the future of cricket", while the good old Booker T and the MGs theme sound, circa 1968, playing in the background. Future indeed.
It's not exactly in the same league as selling mail order Via*gra, X[a]nax or p3nis enlargements, but the Zimbabwe Cricket Union's unsolicited email to the eighteen first-class English counties on Monday will go down as one of the daftest acts by a cricket administration in recent times.
The Zimbabwe Cricket Union, stretched for funds in a deteriorating economy and suffering on the field from a drain of most of its best players, is desperate for every scheduled international tour to its country to proceed. And with October's tour by England in serious danger of cancellation, ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka and chief executive Vince Hogg were desperate enough to decide to bypass the ECB and appeal directly to the county administrations.
Bangladesh has just announced its touring team to play two Tests and five one-day internationals in Zimbabwe next month. Namibia has just completed a series of five matches in Zimbabwe against the national under-19 and A teams. Meanwhile, England is fretting over the prospects of touring Zimbabwe in October.
The Zimbabwean cricket team is currently in Australia for the VB Series, making its second trip to that country in three months. The Zimbabwean soccer team is currently in Tunisia for the African Cup of Nations, and lost their opening game to Egypt on Sunday. They had to change their travel plans from Harare to Tunis when the British Government refused to give them transit visas to make a stopover at Heathrow en route.
In 1973, the women were first with a cricket world cup, and in 2004 they will be first with a Twenty20 cricket international.
Joan Wilkinson, who played thirteen Tests for England between 1949 and 1958, has died. Her funeral was held at Foulridge, Lancashire, on Tuesday April 23, the town where she passed away at home at the age of 83.
A right-handed batter and occasional spin bowler, Wilkinson was chosen for England's tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1948-49, where she played all Tests except the opening game of the Australian leg. She was in the team which hosted Australia in the 1951 season, and was England vice-captain when New Zealand toured in 1954.