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First The Matildas, Now Our Cricketers Have Sold Out The First Ashes Match

Because it's not women's sport, it's just sport.

28/09/2017 5:36 PM AEST
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Meg, Ellyse and Alyssa. It's a sign of the times that we bet lots of you know their surnames.

Hot on the heels of the Matildas selling out matches against Brazil in Penrith and Newcastle, Australia's women's cricket team has sold out the first match of its upcoming Ashes summer.

This is a first for our female cricketers, who do The Ashes a little differently to the men.

For the men's series, "The Ashes" means just the Tests. For the women, the 2017 Ashes will be a combined series of One Dayers, T20s and one Test -- with two points for the winner of the shorter format games and four points for winning the Test. The team with most points claims the urn.

The series schedule is below. As you can see, it runs between late October and the start of the men's Ashes on November 23.

First ODI -- Allan Border Field, Brisbane, 22 October
Second ODI -- Coffs Harbour International Stadium, 26 October
Third ODI -- Coffs Harbour International Stadium, 29 October

Test match (Day-Night) -- North Sydney Oval, 9-12 November 2017

First T20 -- North Sydney Oval, 17 November 2017
Second T20 -- Manuka Oval, Canberra, 19 November 2017
Third T20 -- Manuka Oval, 21 November 2017

So how many tickets actually sold for that first match? Well, the capacity of the Allan Border field is just 2,000, so it might not sound like the most amazing thing in the world that the venue sold out.

But HuffPost Australia contacted Cricket Australia and they asked us to consider the fact that:

  • It's the first time Cricket Australia has sold tickets to a stand-alone women's cricket match;
  • The women's team normally only attract 200 to 250 to international matches, so they're actually getting ten times the usual crowd -- even though it costs to get in for the first time.

"The venues that have been confirmed are a result of a strategic decision to give this series the opportunity to gain as much exposure as possible and continue to build women's cricket as a mainstream sport," Cricket Australia said.

Or in other words, they've gone for intimate venues with a carnival feel, rather than half empty giant stadiums. But in the future, who knows? Those great big stadiums will probably sell out too -- especially if the team keeps winning.

Australia's women's cricket team has been phenomenally successful over the years, winning six of the 11 World Cups, and an astonishing 85 percent of its games overall. The team recently ditched the name "Southern Stars" in a move which won widespread support.

Cricket officials will never say this publicly, but the unspoken feeling is that by remaining nameless, our national cricket teams occupy a higher plane in the national consciousness than national teams in other sports which need team nicknames for recognition (like, for example, hockey's Kookaburras and Hockeyroos).

That's why the women ditched their Southern Stars nickname (although it persists on social media). Meg Lanning's team didn't want to be perceived as occupying a lower tier in sport to Steve Smith's team.

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