Cross confident of Kia Super League success
Lancashire Thunder are confident of a successful campaign in this summer’s inaugural Kia Women’s Super League after completing an exciting recruitment drive.
The Thunder’s full 15-player squad has been confirmed along with the other five teams, including their third overseas signing Hayley Matthews.
All of the other overseas players were announced last week, but an injury to Australian Jess Jonassen left the Red Rose scouring the globe for a replacement.
West Indian Matthews, 18, shot to prominence at the recent World T20, where she won the player of the match award for scoring 66 from the top of the order in the final win against Australia.
She joins fell Bajan Deandra Dottin, the first woman to score at T20 international century, and Aussie all-rounder Sarah Coyte at Lancashire.
They will be captained by England star Sarah Taylor, who general manager Bobby Cross says has already gained “Superhero like” status at Emirates Old Trafford.
Kate Cross, Bobby’s sister, and Danni Wyatt are also part of the squad.
“I would say Sarah is the biggest name that we could have signed. And that’s for several reasons, not just the cricket,” said Bobby.
“She’s a wonderfully talented batsman and keeper, but what she does away from that is also very impressive.
“She engages well with the media and can engage with young girls around the North West, which is something we were really keen on.
“It’s great that the best players will play against each other, but this competition is also meant to inspire the next generation to take up cricket.
“When we had our media day a couple of weeks ago, to see the reaction from our under 11s and 13s girls, who were there when Sarah came into Emirates Old Trafford, was incredible.
“She was given Superhero like status.
“But, not only are we excited about the girls we’ve signed from outside, we are also delighted with our own girls as well.
“We have three on the England Academy, who have been away with Kate in Sri Lanka. They have all excelled with either runs, wickets or keeping in terms of Ellie Threlkeld.
“It will be difficult to win it, and difficult because of the nature of how the competition has been set up. All six teams, if we’ve done it right, should be evenly balanced.
“We’re setting out to win it. If you speak to (coach) Steve Titchard, we want to win every game. We’re looking forward to it.
“20-over cricket, we all know, it’s who comes off on the day to a certain extent. But we think we’ve got a good group of players.”
On the capture of Matthews, he added: “Jonassen is a real disappointment because she would have been a very good addition to our side.
“But I don’t think anyone prior to the World T20, when we were asking for players, would have asked for Hayley Matthews.
“She had such a good tournament, basically winning them the final, and has risen to prominence.
“By all accounts, talking to people who know West Indies cricket, they think she will be the next big star in the game. It’s exciting to bring her over.”
FULL SQUAD: Sarah Taylor c, Kate Cross, Danni Wyatt, Sarah Coyte, Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, Sophie Ecclestone, Emma Lamb, Ellie Threlkeld, Natalie Brown, Georgie Holmes, Laura Marshall, Natasha Miles, Laura Newton, Nalisha Patel.