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Bobby Cross pleased with Lancashire Thunder squad

Bobby Cross pleased with Lancashire Thunder squad

Bobby Cross pleased with Lancashire Thunder squad

Bobby Cross, Lancashire Thunder’s general manager, believes their squad is a strong and well balanced one ahead of this summer’s Kia Super League.

The Thunder have announced their full 15-player squad, including four England and three overseas internationals, ahead of the July 22 start.

New head coach Alex Blackwell, the former Australia all-rounder, will meet up with the squad for its first training session on Monday.

New faces include overseas duo Harmanpreet Kaur and Nicole Bolton from India and Australia respectively, England left-arm spinner Alex Hartley (Surrey) and England Academy batsman Georgie Boyce (Loughborough).

On the coaching side, regular Lancashire women’s coach Dan Atkinson joins the Thunder, while last season’s head coach Steve Titchard remains involved. 

“It’s a really good looking squad, well balanced,” said Cross, who has only seen the Thunder win once in two Super League campaigns. 

“We have strong batting and good spin bowling with some strong seam variation.

“We’re really looking forward to it, and we’re looking forward to having a few new faces around both on the playing and coaching side.

“We’re very hopeful of a much better campaign this time around.”

The England internationals are captain Danni Hazell, Sophie Ecclestone, Hartley - all spinners - and seamer Kate Cross. The overseas trio is made up by New Zealand all-rounder Amy Satterthwaite, who returns for a third year.

“We have three England spinners in the squad. A couple of the overseas offer a spin bowling option as well,” said Cross.  

“We think it’s a better balanced squad than we’d had before. 

“All the girls I’ve spoken to, and Alex, aren't looking back on the two disappointing years. They’re just looking forward to a 10-game competition that we can make our mark on.

“Given Sarah Taylor has gone to Surrey, Ellie Threlkeld doesn't have any competition for wicketkeeping gloves.

“She’s still in the England Academy. 

“There’s a lot of options at senior level with the gloves - Sarah, Amy Jones, Tammy Beaumont can take the gloves, as can Lauren Winfield.

“But for a young girl to be a first choice keeper in the Super League, and to have a chance to bat as well, it’s a great opportunity.

“That’s what we’ve always seen the Super League as. We are all for promoting good young girls, and hopefully it’s a step in the right direction to go and play international cricket.”

Lancashire’s campaign starts against Loughborough Lightning at Southport’s Trafalgar Road a week on Sunday.

Cross added: “I think everyone is pleased that the competition has gone to 10 games because, over the first two years, the feeling is that if you get off to slow start, you’re just playing thinking ‘We can’t afford to lose another’.

“At least in a 10-game tournament, you can recover.

“Lancashire’s men did it the other day. They lost the first game in the Blast and won the next two. 

“Over a longer period, you hope the best three sides qualify for Finals Day.

“That’s our aim. We want to get to Finals Day and show everyone that we’re a really exciting group of young players.”

Lancashire Thunder squad: Danielle Hazell c, Nicole Bolton, Georgie Boyce, Natalie Brown, Kate Cross, Rachel Dickinson, Alice Dyson, Sophie Ecclestone, Alex Hartley, Eve Jones, Harmanpreet Kaur, Emma Lamb, Natasha Miles, Amy Satterthwaite, Ellie Threlkeld.

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