Veteran New Zealand all-rounder Suzie Bates has expressed her dismay over the lack of Test cricket in the women's game, saying while she has played more than 250 WT20I and WODI matches, she has yet to play a single Test so far.
A veteran of 145 WODIs and 131 WT20Is, the 35-year-old Bates has amassed more than 8,500 runs besides taking 125 wickets with her right-arm medium-pace, but she rues the fact that the International Cricket Council (ICC) is not paying much attention to women's Test cricket.
The ICC had recently said women's Test cricket would not be "part of the landscape moving forward", and Bates said it was a "missed opportunity", and is inhibiting players from testing themselves at the highest level, according to sen.com.au.
"As a cricketer, you want to test yourself at the highest level and I feel Test match cricket can be the pinnacle," Bates told SENZ Mornings on Wednesday. "Although it hasn't been in the women's game, I just think it's a real missed opportunity.
"Even in one-day cricket... we talk so much about making sure we are playing with the spin every single ball under our eyes, and in Test match cricket you learn to do that on a day five-wicket. I just think some of our younger batters and bowlers lose the art of being able to be patient with what they do with their skills," added Bates.
"So I think there's a massive opportunity, now the women's game has grown, that we can bring it back but by the sounds of things New Zealand Cricket are investing in the shorter format."
The White Ferns played their last Test in 2004, two years before the all-rounder made her international debut. While four-day Tests are being played by India, Australia and England of late, it hasn't quite become a regular fixture, though the ICC has given the nod to trial the Women's Ashes series in the five-day format.
While Bates is happy there is some forward movement as far as women's cricket is concerned, she rues the missed opportunities in the White Ferns' schedule, as she still can't participate in Test cricket despite 16 years of playing international cricket.
"Unless I get invited to play somewhere else it looks unlikely (I'll play at Test)," Bates said. "But I feel like there is a future in (it); I know Australia and England are about to play a five-day Test match in the Ashes which is awesome to see."