Alex Blackwell on the 2018 season
Alex Blackwell on the 2018 Kia Super League
Alex Blackwell is confident Lancashire Thunder can arrest a disappointing first two years of the Kia Women’s Super League and challenge for this summer’s title.
The former Australia captain has taken over as the Thunder’s new head coach from Steve Titchard.
The Red Rose have won only one match in the first two years of the competition, although Blackwell, a player with Yorkshire Diamonds in the inaugural KSL in 2016, is encouraged by her early impressions of the squad.
Ahead of her first head coach’s role, Blackwell, from New South Wales, said: “This is a competition that’s shaping up really well being 10 matches now.
“It’s home and away rather than being five games (like the first two years). If you lose a match (with only five games to play), you’re on the back foot.
“I don’t really feel the first couple of years is a true representation of the best teams necessarily.
“But I think in a 10-game competition, the best teams should make the finals. It will be a true assessment, and there is no reason why this Lancashire squad can’t be very successful.
“Winning a tournament is something that would be within our reach.”
Blackwell has been associated with success throughout her cricketing career.
She topped 5,000 runs for Australia from a record 251 appearances across all formats, winning Ashes series and World Cups as a player and a captain.
For her home state New South Wales, Blackwell also won an incredible 14 WNCL 50-over titles before retirement in February. She will, however, continue to play for Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash later this year.
Ahead of July’s start to the KSL, she said: “I’ve never done a head coach’s role before. However, I’ve captained teams, especially in T20 competitions, particularly the Sydney Thunder.
“To still be a current player, I think that proximity to the game could be a real advantage to bring into this role.
“As a captain for so many years, I’ve probably thought about the game similar to how a coach might. I know the players very well having played with or against them very recently. I’ll be coaching some of my good mates. It will be interesting.”
Blackwell also has a life away from cricket, and accepts coaching may not be for her long-term.
“I have another career behind me as a genetic counsellor,” she added.
“I have interest in the health and medical field, which is where my past education has been. But I have a huge interest in the high-performance sports world, and also in leadership.
“I have aspirations with regards to learning what it is all about and developing future leaders. That’s obviously something I can do within cricket, to create leaders out of the players I am about to coach.
“I’m passionate about not letting all I’ve accumulated over a long and successful international career, those skills and experiences, to be lost to the game.
“I think I can bring many strengths to this role.
“I’m really looking forward to it, experiencing the challenges that come and learning from them. I’ll be giving this all I’ve got.”
The Thunder’s first game of this summer’s KSL is against Loughborough Lightning at Southport on July 22.