Lancashire Thunder confirm full squad
Lancashire Thunder is delighted to announce the full squad for the first ever Kia Super League campaign.
West Indies rising star Hayley Matthews completes the overseas signings and will join international teammate Deandra Dottin and Australian Sarah Coyte at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 18 year old from Barbados has enjoyed a fantastic start to her career and is considered to be one of the brightest prospects in the game. A spell with the Hobart Hurricanes in the Women's Big Bash League then led to her playing a vital role in the ICC World T20 victory and her 66 from 45 balls in the final led to her player of the match award as the West Indies broke the Australian run of dominance in the tournament.
As well as her undoubted talent with the bat Matthews has also shown her ability with the ball, often opening the bowling with her off spin for her national side.
Matthews, Dottin and Coyte will team up with their England counterparts Sarah Taylor, Danni Wyatt and Kate Cross for the competition that starts with a warm up game against Loughborough Lightning on 29th July at Emirates Old Trafford as part of a double header prior to Lancashire Lightning v Birmingham Bears in the final NatWest T20 Blast group game.
Fresh from a highly successful England Academy tour to Sri Lanka are Lancashire youngsters Sophie Ecclestone, Emma Lamb and Ellie Threlkeld. Lamb, an opening bat who can bowl useful off spin, contributed regularly with the bat on the tour whilst left arm spinner Ecclestone, a product of the Cheshire youth system before moving to Lancashire to play at senior level, was amongst the wickets. Keeper batter Threlkeld also scored runs and kept well in testing conditions and all three will be keen to showcase their talents to national selectors this summer.
Former England Academy player Natasha Miles, a Middlesex player in county cricket, will be making the journey north to take her place in the squad and will be a familiar face to several of her teammates. Miles is a right hand bat who can also bowl medium pace.
Lancashire Women's players Natalie Brown, Georgia Holmes, Laura Marshall and Nalisha Patel will ensure that there is considerable local representation within the squad alongside Cross, Lamb, Ecclestone and Threlkeld.
Brown is a strong batter who can bowl usefully when needed and has been a consistent scorer of runs for Lancashire at county level over a number of years. Patel is an off spinner from the Bolton area and will supplement the slow bowling options for her captain.
Holmes is an exciting seam bowling talent and will provide another pace option in the squad whilst Marshall is a top order bat that can find the boundary. Both are products of the Cumbria youth system that now play their senior cricket for Lancashire.
The final place in the squad is taken by a player that will be well known to many in both the North West and across the international game. Laura Newton (MacLeod) is a former Lancashire Women's captain and was an England regular before her international retirement in 2007. A batter that can bowl, Newton moved up the England batting order to open with great success and played 13 tests and 73 One Day Internationals for her country. Her presence in the squad will be of huge benefit to the younger players.
Thunder skipper Sarah Taylor is delighted with the make up of her squad, “I couldn’t be more excited to be playing alongside these girls. The set up in Lancashire is one of the best in this country so I am very much looking forward to working with the young talent who proved formidable in the recent England Academy Tour to Sri Lanka. Natasha Miles is a great asset to this squad, the way she goes about her cricket and her attitude will fit in perfectly. To have the experience of Laura Newton back playing cricket, will not only provide a role model to the youngsters but a wealth of knowledge to myself and the rest of the International girls, whom I’m sure will provide some quality and excitement this summer”
Bobby Cross, Thunder General Manager, was pleased with the strength of local representation, "The squad is very exciting and I am thrilled that so many local players will have the chance to play alongside genuine stars of the world game."
"It is particularly rewarding not just for the players but also for those staff and volunteers that put in tireless hard work across boards, leagues and clubs not just in Lancashire but also in Cheshire and Cumbria."
Cricket Development Director at Cumbria Cricket, Bob Simpson, "We are delighted to further enhance our partnership with the Lancashire Cricket Board and Lancashire County Cricket Club through this exciting opportunity. To have 2 Cumbrians in the squad demonstrates there is a pathway and career opportunity for our girls.
Both Laura and Georgia will be fantastic role models for any aspiring girls and they both played in our local Kwik Cricket Festivals and have moved through to represent Cumbria and now Lancashire. It supports our strong commitment to the Women & Girls game."
Communications and Marketing Manager at the Cheshire Cricket Board, Gareth Moorhouse, "The Kia Super League promises to be a fantastic advert for Women's Cricket which we hope will elevate the game to new levels and inspire the next generation of young players to pick up a bat and ball.
'Cheshire Cricket Board are thrilled to have two home-grown players in the Lancashire Thunder squad and we will be cheering on the team throughout the competition.
'Laura Newton is an inspirational figure within the Women's game, having played and coached at all levels from grass roots through to international cricket.
'Sophie Ecclestone is one of the rising young stars of England Women's cricket and we hope the Kia Super League will provide a springboard for further success.
'Everyone in Cheshire extends their best wishes to the Thunder squad, and indeed all the players taking part in this landmark competition. We hope it will be a huge success and look forward to developing more players to take part on the biggest stage in domestic cricket.
The squad in full will be as follows:
Sarah Taylor (c)
Laura Newton (MacLeod)