Starting from this summer's clash, the Ashes contest between England and Australia Women will no longer be decided by the one-off Test match, but over the series of one Test, three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals.
A Test match win is worth six points, a draw two points and each limited overs victory will garner two points for the winners with the points shared in the case of a tie or no result, the Ashes winners being the team with the most points at the end of the summer.
Should both sides gain an equal number of points, Australia will retain the Ashes after they won the one-off Test in 2011.
The Test match begins at Wormsley on 11th August, the three ODIs are played at Lord's and Hove between 20th and 25th August before the T20Is are held in Chelmsford, Southampton and Chester-le-Street on 27th, 29th and 31st August, offering the possibility of an Ashes contest all the way through until the end of August.
"The Women's Ashes series coupled with the Men's Ashes series will provide two exciting back to back series commencing this summer in England and continuing in Australia this winter," David Collier, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chief Executive said.
"The innovative format for the Women’s Ashes will ensure the widest possible interest in these series and ECB looks forward to a wonderful programme of cricket played by two of the leading Women’s teams in world cricket."
Head of England Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor added: "The women’s game has seen huge growth in interest and profile as a result of the limited overs formats in recent years. The new Women’s Ashes Series looks to combine this reality with the prestige and tradition of Test match cricket.
"We believe that this new multi-format series will gain significantly more profile and context than can be generated by playing a one-off Test match every couple of years. Re-branding the Women’s Ashes to a multi-format series is an innovative way forward for players, spectators and the media and we look forward to a hard-fought contest spanning three weeks in August."
Cricket Australia Senior Manager - Centre of Excellence, Belinda Clark said: "Cricket contests between Australia and England have a special place in the hearts and minds of players and the public. The new Women’s Ashes Series format acknowledges the past, embraces the present and takes a bold step towards the future.
"The recent ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka and the ICC Women’s World Cup in India demonstrated that the standard of women’s cricket across all competing countries is more evenly balanced than ever before, which, in part, is due to the increased focus on the shorter forms of the game.
"The Women’s Ashes Series in England in 2013 and the return series in Australia in 2014 will pit two highly competitive teams against each other and I for one can’t wait for the first ball to be bowled."
The two teams have played each other in Test cricket since 1934-5, Australia winning seven Ashes series, England four and there have been seven draws.
Australia already compete with New Zealand in a similar format for the Rose Bowl, although the two sides have not played a Test against one another since 1996. The Rose Bowl is played for over a number of One-Day and Twenty20 Internationals, the exact format decided on a series-by-series basis.
© Cricket World 2013
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