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Alex adds to options ahead of new Super League campaign

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 08/06/2018 - Commercial - Cricket - Lancashire CCC T20 Media Day, Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester, England - Kate Cross, Alex Harltey & Evelyn Jones.
Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 08/06/2018 - Commercial - Cricket - Lancashire CCC T20 Media Day, Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester, England - Kate Cross, Alex Harltey & Evelyn Jones.
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Clitheroe’s Alex Hartley forms part of a strong spin attack for Lancashire Thunder, ahead of the start of this summer’s Kia Super League.

The World Cup winner has returned to her home county from Surrey, and will join a 15-player squad in time for Sunday’s opening game against Loughborough at Southport.

Bobby Cross, Lancashire Thunder’s general manager, believes the squad is a well-balanced one.

New head coach Alex Blackwell, the former Australia all-rounder, met up with the squad for its first training session on Monday.

New faces included overseas duo Harmanpreet Kaur and Nicole Bolton from India and Australia respectively, England left-arm spinner Hartley and England Academy batsman Georgie Boyce (Loughborough).

On the coaching side, regular Lancashire women’s coach Dan Atkinson has joined Thunder, while last season’s head coach Steve Titchard remains involved.

“It’s a really good looking squad, well balanced,” said Cross, who has only seen Thunder win once in two Super League campaigns.

“We have strong batting and good spin bowling with some strong seam variation.

“We’re really looking forward to it, and we’re looking forward to having a few new faces around both on the playing and coaching side.

“We’re very hopeful of a much better campaign this time around.”

The England internationals are captain Danni Hazell, Sophie Ecclestone, Hartley – all spinners – and seamer Kate Cross.

The overseas trio is made up by New Zealand all-rounder Amy Satterthwaite, who returns for a third year.

“We have three England spinners in the squad. A couple of the overseas offer a spin bowling option as well,” said Cross.

“We think it’s a better balanced squad.

“All the girls I’ve spoken to, and Alex, aren’t looking back on the two disappointing years. They’re just looking forward to a 10-game competition that we can make our mark on.”

Cross added: “I think everyone is pleased that the competition has gone to 10 games because, over the first two years, the feeling is that if you get off to slow start, you’re just playing thinking ‘We can’t afford to lose another’.”