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The lowdown on the Women's Ashes

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'Australia still best in the world' - Knight (2:13)

Heather Knight spoke ahead of England's tour of Australia about the inclusion of Sophie Eccleston, winning the Ashes and Danielle Hazell's quiz nights. (2:13)

How does it work?

The Women's Ashes is decided on the multi-format points-based method. The three-match one-day series (which is also part of the Women's Championship) starts on Sunday, followed by a one-off Test in Sydney and then three T20Is in mid-November.

  • ODIs: two points for a win; one point for a tie/NR

  • Test: four points for a win; two points for a draw

  • T20Is two points for a win; one point for a tie/NR

When the format started there were six points for a Test victory but it was felt that gave too much weighting to a single match in a format rarely played in the women's game.

This Ashes also includes the first day-night women's Test when the two sides meet at North Sydney Oval from November 9.

What happened last time?

Australia hold the Ashes following their 10-6 victory in 2015. England had started well with victory in the first ODI, but Australia hit back to take the one-day series with it 2-1. They then made a major push towards the urn with victory in the one-off Test at Canterbury when England, who had seemed uncertain how to approach the match, collapsed for 101 on the final day. It left them needing to win the T20I series 3-0 and they kept hopes alive as Sarah Taylor marshalled an impressive chase at Chelmsford, but then it all came crashing down. Having restricted Australia to 107 at Hove, they subsided to 87 all out as Rene Farrell took 3 for 17.

The squads

Australia ODIs Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (capt), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

Australia Test Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (capt), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

Australia will name their T20 squad after the ODIs

England Heather Knight (capt), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Nat Sciver, Sarah Taylor, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt

Key players

The Australians will need someone to take up the slack from Meg Lanning's absence after she was ruled out of the Ashes with a shoulder injury. Rachael Haynes was named captain so there will plenty on her plate with leadership and run-scoring. In the 2015 series, Ellyse Perry was named Player of the Series and her all-round returns could go a long way towards dictating the outcome. One of the key battles will be between Perry and Nat Sciver, the England allrounder, who enjoyed a stellar World Cup and found a shot named after her - the Nat Meg. Tammy Beaumont was named Player of the Tournament and has provided England with fantastic starts at the top of the order since being given the backing of coach Mark Robinson.

How have preparations gone?

Frustratingly for both sides due to rain in Brisbane. England's warm-ups were hit by four days of rain - the first limited to 18 overs and the second called off altogether - leaving the risk of the team being undercooked. "It's obviously hugely frustrating but there isn't much you can do about the weather. We're itching to be out on grass and be competitive," Mark Robinson, the coach said.

The Australian players have at least had the start of the domestic one-day tournament to get into gear and they also had an inter-squad match including players from the CA Under-18 development squad. Elyse Villani hit a century.