With the news about her return to her native Lancashire, re-joining the Thunder from the Surrey Stars, Alex Hartley spoke to DEC’s Harry Everett.
“To go back home and represent The Red Rose is just so exciting.
“Surrey was amazing and I loved playing for Surrey, but it was just so far away from where I live at the minute.”
Though England stars Tammy Beaumont and Hartley herself are leaving the Stars, Hartley has no concerns about their chances this season.
“They’ve gained Sarah Taylor, so I’m pretty sure they’ll be alright!”
Lancashire Thunder are looking pretty strong as well. They will have four England bowlers in their ranks this season, Kate Cross’s medium-fast being the only non-spin option of the four.
“To have three of the four spinners in one team, it makes sense – but then it doesn’t make sense.
“We all play different roles, Hazell opens the bowling, Eccles [Sophie Ecclestone] bowls in the powerplay and I bowl in the middle, so it’s actually a good opportunity for all three of us to work together and learn for when we play international cricket together.”
Hartley has been training at Loughborough’s National Cricket Performance Centre Monday-Friday since the middle of January. She is preparing to be part of a fresh young squad to travel to India for a T20 tri-series with the hosts and Australia, followed by three ODIs against India Women.
“It’s a good opportunity for some girls, who have not played much international cricket over the last few years, to put their foot through the front door.”
With being so busy celebrating and then touring Australia, it has taken until now for Alex to get her World Cup winning shirt framed – a very precious commodity to all in her family.
“There are a few arguments, Mum wants it in her office, Dad wants it in his office, but I think I’m going to have it in my house!”
That World Cup win still brings a massive smile to Alex’s face, and those of the young girls who have taken up the game because of their success.
“It’s amazing. You always dream of playing cricket and dream of inspiring the next generation of players. To have done that: it’s very exciting to see where we can go in the next year.”
Starting the 22nd July, Alex believes the new and improved KSL format will help women’s cricket even further.
“Five games was a very short competition, a few teams were out of it before they even got a chance to get into it, so ten games is exciting and hopefully we’ll see a few new teams in the top four.
“It’s only going to get better for women’s cricket.”