England Academy are now two games into their battle with Australia's Shooting Stars in Dubai; and having seen the first game postponed due to a sandstorm, the England girls were no doubt delighted to take to the field on Friday and Saturday, in contests where the batsmen in particular might reasonably be hoping to be pushing for places in the Women's Ashes squad.
But the reality is that these two games have so far told us very little... not least because THEY HAVEN'T BEEN PROPER "REGULATION" MATCHES!
In the first game, England were bowled out after 44 overs; but batted on "off the scorecard"; and in the second match, England used 13 players; with the Shooting Stars having done similarly.
I can't help but feel that staging matches under these "Jumpers For Goalposts" playing conditions isn't ultimately very helpful; and is certainly scant preparation for the high-pressure cauldron of an ODI or Test innings or spell with The Women's Ashes at stake!
I'm sure the coaching teams "have their reasons" and these matches still have some significance... although probably not the significance captain Tammy Beaumont would hope, with the likes of Elwiss and Wilson perhaps coming into the England reckoning at her expense. But I do hope that this doesn't become the rule for Academy tours in future.