KATE CROSS admits she is still pinching herself after making her international debut on the England Women's recent tour of the West Indies.
The 23-year-old Lancashire seamer returned home last Tuesday after playing one t20 game and all three of the 50-over matches, taking 4-51 and claiming the player of the match award in the second of the series which England won 2-0.
“I can’t put into words what it feels like,” she said. “Family and friends are all asking about it but it still doesn’t feel like it’s really happened.”
Cross made her 50-over debut in the first match of the three-game series but that was washed out after three overs, so she classes her 50-over England debut as beginning with the next contest at Port of Spain.
In that game her efforts ensured that the West Indies were dismissed for 128 and England overhauled this total in some ease, eventually cruising to a seven-wicket victory. Cross’s performance earned warm praise from her skipper Charlotte Edwards.
“For Kate to put in that kind of performance is fantastic,” said Edwards. “She impressed us throughout the whole trip.
“This tour was about giving our younger girls an opportunity and you just hope that they are going to take it. Kate did that with both hands, which is fantastic.”
However, Cross was quick to pay tribute to the England management for helping make the transition to full international honours.
“The management and the other girls in the team were all brilliant in putting me at my ease,” she said. “But the reason why we have an England Academy is that it makes it less of a step up to the full England side.
“It was all very natural for me. I got to that level by playing well throughout the summer.”
However, with the party for the forthcoming Ashes tour due to be announced soon, Cross has had little time for rest or relaxation.
“We’ve had a few days off but we’re going back for six weeks’ training at Loughborough this week,” she said. “I think the exact date for the announcement of the Ashes party has yet to be fixed and that makes it a little tense of course.
“But everyone’s in the same boat, and if you’re training well, you’ve got a good chance of selection.”