The Southern Stars Are Number One Across The Board

18/08/2015 8:45 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
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CANTERBURY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Meg Lanning, Captain of Australia looks on prior to the start of play during day one of the Kia Women's Test of the Women's Ashes Series between England and Australia Women at The Spitfire Ground on August 11, 2015 in Canterbury, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

In case you haven’t heard, Australia is blitzing the English in the cricket!

That’s right! Of course I’m referring to the Women’s cricket.

The contest of captain versus captain and bowlers versus batters has produced cricket of the highest standard.

Victory in the Women’s version of the Ashes series is achieved through a points system awarded across the three forms of the game: three ODIs, one Test match and three T20 games.

Despite this compilation to achieve the overall outcome of Ashes success, the Test is always going to stand as the more highly regarded contest.

Australia’s captain, Meg Lanning, is a cricketer of such prolific talent and maturity that her record belies her 23 years.

She was the youngest Australian cricket captain ever appointed - Men’s or Women’s – when given the reins last year aged just 21.

This is her first Ashes series and therefore last week saw her captaining her first Ashes Test, and she was up against a world of experience in the opposition.

At 35 years of age, England’s captain Charlotte Edwards has done it all. Over her nine years at the helm, she has collected World Cups in both forms of the game and no less than two Ashes series.

So what unfolded over four rain interrupted days was an intriguing battle of leadership and strategy.

Lanning’s approach is simple: trust your gut and be proactive. This may be simplicity born out of naivety and inexperience or she may just be a very clever cookie.

She has lead by example with the bat and in the field and has entrusted her bowlers to do their jobs.

Of course when you have all-rounder Ellyse Perry taking career best figures of 6-32 to seal the fate of your opposition on the final day, supported strongly by the rest of the bowling attack, Lanning says the job is made much easier.

The Test win means Australia are in a commanding position to bring the Ashes back to the southern hemisphere with England needing to win each of the three T20 matches to retain the trophy, in what remains of the series.

A 161-run Test victory, giving an unassailable 8 points to 2 lead in the series, is not just a win but an emphatic statement by the visitors that it’s not all about the men’s form of the game when national pride is on the line.

Even more notable is that with this Test win, the Australian Women's cricket team now has a place in history. The Southern Stars are now ranked Number One in ALL three formats of the game.

The sooner the Australian public start to realise their female sports stars have just as much value to give as the males, with a lot less drama, the sooner the hysteria over our supposed embattled sporting pride can subside.

Long overdue is the recognition our female sports stars deserve, not the least of which is for our cricketers.

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