England opener Tammy Beaumont insists the standard of women’s cricket has improved immeasurably in recent times.
Beaumont and her England team-mates take centre stage on Saturday when they take on South Africa and New Zealand in a T20I double-header from Taunton as part of #Show Up Saturday, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 12.30pm.
In a week where England’s men notched a world record One Day International score of 481, England’s women got in on the act, racking up a 20-over total of 250-3 to claim the highest-ever Women’s T20I score.
Runs now seem to be flowing more freely across the women’s game as a whole and Beaumont believes an ICC rule change that came into effect last October – the number of fielders outside the 30-yard circle has been reduced from five to four – has been a major factor driving scores up.
“You’ve seen the standard of women’s cricket going through the roof,” World Cup winner Beaumont told Sky Sports News.
3:28 The best of England's innings as they break the Women's T20I record after smashing 250-3
“Look at the fielding the other day [in England’s win against South Africa] – there were four stops on the boundary saving sixes, which we haven’t seen too much in the women’s game but we have seen in the men’s game for a number of years now.
“So, I think the standard is on the rise and maybe it is now a challenge for the bowlers to come back now and even up the balance.
England vs South Africa
June 23, 2018, 12:30pm
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“We’ve luckily had that rule change where we have an extra fielder in the ring so that has made the scores go up and up and up.
“We’re really lucky in this country because we get to play at some of the best grounds on some of the best pitches and I think that makes the biggest difference,” Beaumont added.
Beaumont was unstoppable in England’s 122-run win against South Africa on Wednesday, smashing 116 off just 52 balls as she brought up her third consecutive international century.
“I don’t think I have hit the ball that cleanly for a whole innings ever,” Beaumont admitted.
1:06 Tammy Beaumont says England were eager to break the Women's T20I record – after being told not to attempt it by coach Mark Robinson!
“It was one of those lovely days when everything seemed to hit the middle of the bat and everything I kind of chose to do came off.
“It was a great day but I think it was also backed up by such a brilliant all-round team performance. Katherine Brunt came in and batted [really well] with Dani Wyatt and all the bowlers did a great job on what was a pretty flat wicket. So yeah, it was a great day.”
Watch the Vitality IT20 Tri-Series double-header from 12.30pm on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Cricket & Mix, with England first playing South Africa and then New Zealand.