The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today announced the schedule for the 2015 Women's Ashes Series, which will see the Test played in the middle of the series for the first time.
The 2015 Series, which runs from 21 July – 31 August, will be the third time that the Women's Ashes has been contested across all three formats of the game and will include one Test match, three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three T20 Internationals (WT20 INTL).
Following a review of the first two multi-format Series by Cricket Australia (CA) and the ECB, the number of points awarded for winning the Test match will be reduced from six to four, with two points still awarded to each side in the event of a drawn Test. This move, along with scheduling the Test mid-series are to help improve the balance of the competition and to ensure maximum interest across the three formats throughout the series. The ODIs and WT20 INTLs will still be worth two points each for a win.
In addition to the six Women's Ashes points on offer for the three ODIs, the matches will carry additional significance for both teams, as they will comprise Australia and England's third round of fixtures in the new ICC Women's Championship.
The Test match will be played at Kent County Cricket Club's Spitfire Ground from 11-14 August and will coincide with an extended 164th Canterbury Cricket Week.
Prior to the WT20 INTL series the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars will travel to Ireland to play a three-match WT20 INTL series against Ireland.
Speaking about the Women's Ashes Series 2015 Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars Captain Meg Lanning said: "Cricket contests between Australia and England have a special place in the hearts and minds of the players and public.
"The ODI Series will be particularly important for both teams as we will be playing for Women's Ashes points as well as ICC Women's Championship points.
"The multi-format series has been a great success and we are looking forward to another competitive series against England and will be doing everything in our power to win back the Women's Ashes."
Since the first Women's Ashes Series in Australia in 1934-35, England and Australia have competed for the Women's Ashes (in different guises) on 20 occasions, with Australia claiming seven series victories, England six, in addition to seven drawn contests.
England 6-Russia )
England defeated New Zealand 49-46 to level up the three-match Series at 1-1 heading into the deciding match on Wednesday morning.