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England captain Knight delighted by Women's Test against India


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Photo: AFP

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England captain Heather Knight said it was vital to keep Test cricket as part of the women's game as it was confirmed Tuesday her side would play their first long format international against India in almost seven years.

Test cricket remains at the margins of the women's game, with just eight such fixtures played in the past decade -- and six of those in Ashes contests between England and Australia.

England and India have not played a Test against each other since 2014, when India won at Wormsley.

But they will face each other in the format again with a four-day fixture at Bristol's County Ground starting on June 16.

This will be the first of 15 fixtures across all formats for 50-over world champions England this home season, with India remaining for six white-ball games before New Zealand arrive for three Twenty20s and five one-day internationals.

"I love playing Test cricket," said Knight. "One of my proudest moments in an England shirt is scoring a Test century.

"It's really important that we keep Test cricket going in the women's game. Realistically, T20 is what's going to grow women's cricket around the world and we've seen that over the last five years, but I'd love to keep playing Test cricket and to see the multi-format series that we do for the Ashes as the norm going forward.

"I'd also love to play a Test match in India, which I think it would be a massive challenge."

Knight added the scarcity of women's Tests had helped create a sense of excitement in her squad.

"Because you only have one you feel like you desperately want to perform in that match, you know the next one's not going to come around for a while," she said. 

"It's going to be a really big occasion and, coming from the southwest, I'm really chuffed that it's going to be down at Bristol as well. Hopefully we can put on a show."

Fixtures

England v India series:

June 16-19: Test match, Bristol

June 27: 1st ODI, Bristol

June 30: 2nd ODI, Taunton

July 3:  3rd ODI, Worcester

July 9:  1st T20, Northampton

July 11: 2nd T20, Hove

July 15: 3rd T20, Chelmsford

England v New Zealand series

September 1:  1st T20, Chelmsford

September 4:  2nd T20, Hove

September 9:  3rd T20, Taunton

September 16: 1st ODI, Bristol

September 19: 2nd ODI, Worcester

September 21: 3rd ODI, Leicester

September 23: 4th ODI, Derby

September 26: 5th ODI, Canterbury