Asheligh Gardner hunts elusive baggy green

Ashleigh Gardner is touted as a serious chance to make her Test debut in the women's Ashes series.
Ashleigh Gardner is touted as a serious chance to make her Test debut in the women's Ashes series.

Ashleigh Gardner is desperate for more chances to don an elusive baggy green but believes such a major change to the international schedule will take time.

Australia and England are the only two nations that play women's cricket Tests.

Gardner, one of five Australians seeking to make their Test debut next month, knows as well as anybody how that makes Test selection incredibly hard to attain.

The hard-hitting allrounder has represented Australia in 44 games and last year captained an Indigenous squad that toured England.

But Gardner was overlooked for the 2017 North Sydney Oval Test that made front-page news in Australia following Ellyse Perry's unbeaten double-ton.

The 22-year-old's next chance to don the whites will be at Taunton on July 18.

"Hopefully with the game going forward we do play more Test match cricket and we can play more games in the baggy green," Gardner told reporters in Sydney.

"Because I know how treasured that is for Australian cricketers.

"We play once every two years. I don't think there's enough depth in international cricket at the moment for other countries to play.

"India is up to the standard to play a Test match.

"Until we can get three or four more countries to be at that level, there won't be more Test matches played."

Perry and other senior Australian players have lamented the fact Test cricket is a biennial concept in the women's game.

Cricket Australia has invested heavily in the women's game but other countries are yet to follow suit.

Many pundits were surprised to see Gardner overlooked for the 2017 Test in Sydney but the youngster suggested she wasn't ready.

"I've grown not only as a cricketer but as a person. I know what I have to do to earn my spot," Gardner said.

"It was obviously really disappointing not to be in that Test match, being in Sydney where I grew up.

"Now I can prove to the selectors and to the coach that I can bat longer periods."

AUSTRALIA'S POTENTIAL ASHES DEBUTANTS Ashleigh Gardner (21 ODIs, 23 T20Is) Tayla Vlaeminck (1 ODI, 1 T20I) Nicola Carey (6 ODIs, 1 T20I) Delissa Kimmince (12 ODIs, 28 T20Is) Georgia Wareham (6 ODIs, 11 T20Is).

Australian Associated Press