Old Trafford (Greater Manchester) [England], Jun 11 (ANI): England right-arm pacer Kate Cross has been named as the new captain of Lancashire Thunder for the 2019 Kia Super League (KSL).
The announcement follows the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) confirmation of allocation of national players for this year's competition. The 27-year-old Cross will replace Danielle Hazell as the latter retired from cricket earlier this year. Hazell is now the Head Coach of the Yorkshire Diamonds.
Cross made her Lancashire debut at the age of just 13 and went onto become the first girl to be accepted into the Lancashire Academy at 15. She won her first England cap in 2013 and has played for Lancashire in every edition of the KSL.
"I'm absolutely thrilled and honoured to have been offered the opportunity to captain Lancashire Thunder in the Kia Super League this summer. I've been proud to represent the Red Rose for 14 years now and I'm hugely excited to lead this fantastic group of girls," Cross said in a statement.
"Dani (Hazell) was a superb captain and we wish her all the best as Head Coach of Yorkshire Diamonds, it's my hope that we can build on the great progress made last year," she added.
Cross's England teammates Alexandra Hartley and Sophie Ecclestone, both who play their county cricket for the Red Rose, will once again represent Lancashire.
Head Coach and former Australia captain Alex Blackwell said: "I'm really pleased that Kate has accepted our offer to be captain of Lancashire Thunder and I believe she'll do a fantastic job.""I was really impressed with Kate as a cricketer and a leader in 2018 and her strong relationship with the squad will be crucial, as will the experiences that she'll be able to pass on to the younger players. I was pleased with the performance of Lancashire Thunder in last year's Kia Super League and I hope that we can better that in 2019," she added.
Blackwell will be joined at Old Trafford by Mark McInnes for the campaign. McInnes currently works with Sydney Thunder in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia and will link up with the existing coaching team.
Former Australia captain oversaw Lancashire's best ever KSL performance in 2018, winning five matches and narrowly missing out on a finals day berth during the final round of fixtures. Announcements on overseas signings and full Lancashire squad will be confirmed ahead of the start of the new campaign.
This year's KSL edition will start on August 6 and will see six teams - Lancashire Thunder, Loughborough Lightning, Western Storm, Surrey Stars, Yorkshire Diamonds, Southern Vipers - playing each other twice in a league format.
The top three teams qualify for finals day on September 1, with the second and third-placed sides competing for the chance to face the first-placed league winners in the final. Southern Vipers, Western Storm, and Surrey Stars have won the tournament once each in 2016, 2017, 2018, respectively. (ANI)