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Cricket world calls for change after Aussie women dudded in 'pathetic' TV farce

None of the TV networks were able to secure the broadcast rights for Australia's ODI series against Bangladesh.

Australian cricket fans are crying foul over the fact the women's ODI series against Bangladesh won't be televised this week. The Aussie women's team will play three one-day internationals in Bangladesh (starting on Thursday), but fans won't be able to watch on free-to-air or pay TV.

None of the TV networks were able to secure a broadcast deal after discussions with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, meaning the matches will only be streamed on the Bangladesh Cricket Board's YouTube channel. It will mark the first time since 2019 that a full tour by the Australia's women's team isn't televised. And it was a similar story when the men's team toured Bangladesh in 2021, with those matches also not televised in Australia.

Ellyse Perry and the Australian women's cricket team.
Ellyse Perry and the Australian women's cricket team are in Bangladesh for ODIs and T20s. Image: Getty

It's also unclear what language the stream will use for commentary. Only parts of the commentary were in English for women's matches between Bangladesh and India that were streamed on YouTube last year.

The situation has sparked controversy given the importance of the matches. The three games will form a key part of Australia's preparations for this year's T20 World Cup, which will also be held in Bangladesh in September and October.

There is hope that a broadcast deal can be reached by the time Australia plays three T20s against Bangladesh after the ODI series. But the situation has sparked calls for the ICC to impose a minimum broadcast standard for international matches.

Megan Schutt calls for change over farcical broadcast situation

Veteran Aussie bowler Megan Schutt said it was “disappointing” and could impact the level of interest in Australia for the T20 World Cup. "I think there’s minimum standards that need to be met, and I think broadcast is one of them,” Schutt told News Corp on Wednesday.

“We have a World Cup here coming up, and I think it’s important to keep people interested in the tournament – this is an opposition we’ll likely come up against, we’re in conditions that we’re going to play at the World Cup. And it’s important for opposition analysis as well – everyone wins in terms of a broadcast deal, so the fact that it’s just streaming only is just disappointing.

“I think maybe the ICC or some other board needs to probably have a bit more minimum standards there that they’re able to push on and go, ‘this is where women’s cricket is at, we need access to this wherever we are’. Personally I think that needs to be met in every series going forward.”

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Australia coach Shelley Nitschke told AAP last week: "Anytime we can get our games broadcast is a win for us. But also to be able to get those games in particular - it's good for the global game, for people to be able to see that Bangladesh are competing and going really well."

The tour marks the first time Australia has travelled to Bangladesh for women's matches since 2014. But the majority of Australia probably won't even know they're there.

The Australian women's cricket team.
The Australian women's cricket team in action against South Africa. (Getty Images)

Bangladesh an unknown for Australia due to lack of broadcasts

The Aussies are largely entering the unknown against Bangladesh, given the lack of matches broadcast from the nation. Coaches have been forced to rely on grainy streams of men's matches there, as well as the women's series in which Bangladesh drew with India last year.

"We've scraped up a bit of stuff and numbers and things like that around the venue in Dhaka," Nitschke said. "We don't get there much. There was a possibility we could have gone to the World Cup and that's the first time you were there. You wouldn't want that to happen."

The tourists are expecting wickets to be slow and spin-friendly, with the returning Sophie Molineux hoping to push her case for World Cup selection. Molineux was a controversial inclusion for the Bangladesh tour considering it came at the expense of veteran fan favourite Jess Jonassen.

Molineux and Jonassen both shined in the recent Women's Premier League. However it was Molineux who got the chocolates with a stunning three-wicket over in the final to help Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Jonassen's Delhi Capitals.

Australian women's cricket tour of Bangladesh:

  • First ODI - March 21 at 2.30pm (AEDT)

  • Second ODI - March 24 at 2.30pm

  • Third ODI - March 27 at 2.30pm

  • First T20 -March 31 at 5pm

  • Second T20 - April 2 at 5pm

  • Third T20 - April 4 at 5pm

with AAP