Mark McInnes takes over as Lancashire Thunder Head Coach
McInnes to lead Lancashire Thunder
Mark McInnes will take over as Lancashire Thunder’s Head Coach for this summer’s Kia Super League, following Alex Blackwell’s return to Australia.
Blackwell, who led Thunder to fourth-place last summer, has returned to Sydney after being offered a fantastic opportunity working in genetic counselling at the Royal Sydney Children’s Hospital.
McInnes had already arrived at Emirates Old Trafford to work as Assistant Coach to Blackwell, but will now take the Head Coach role on into the tournament.
42-year-old McInnes is an experienced coach back in Australia, working throughout the WBBL with Sydney Thunder and in the WNCL with the NSW Breakers – who have won 20 out of the last 23 titles.
Blackwell has spent a week in Manchester working with the squad and ensuring a smooth transition for McInnes into his first Head Coach role.
“I’ve been an Assistant Coach for a long time, so getting the opportunity to be a Head Coach with the backing of Alex and the club will be great,” said the former leg-spinner with two First-Class appearances to his name.
“I’m really excited because of the group that we’ve got. We have seven girls who’ve played international cricket, and there’s a few with points to prove.
“We have some really good players to come in. Sune Luus has opened the batting for South Africa, Tahlia McGrath has played for Australia and Sophia Dunkley from Surrey.
“I’ll be in contact with Alex a fair bit. We’ve discussed some options, and I’ll still be in communication with her to review various things and thrash them out. She’ll definitely be a part of the tournament."
Lancashire Thunder’s General Manager Bobby Cross added: ““Whilst it’s a shame that Alex won’t be with us, Mark has got a great CV.
“He’s worked with the NSW Breakers, who are their WNCL side and they’ve got an incredible record, and he’s been part of that as an Assistant Coach, particularly working with the spin bowlers and the batters.
“He’s also been an Assistant Coach throughout the WBBL with the Thunder, for whom Alex played for. In the last five years of Alex’s career, he was her go-to coach.
“She would always go to him for advice and credits him with taking her, in the back end of her career, from a player who she thought was as good as she was ever going to improving again significantly.
“Anyone who knows Alex knows she will throw herself wholeheartedly into everything she gets involved with.
“So it was no surprise that when she found out she couldn’t commit to the full KSL, she was still keen to come over here and give us a week of her time to introduce Mark and have a smooth handover.
“The girls really appreciated her being around because what she started last year and put in place was excellent.”