Lancashire and Yorkshire ready for Roses rumble

Lancashire Thunder - ready for the fray
Lancashire Thunder - ready for the fray
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Tom Smith is hoping Headingley will be struck by Thunder and Lightning on Friday.

Smith, the former Lancashire all-rounder, has switched from player to coach since injury forced him into retirement last year, and he is now the Thunder’s assistant coach for this summer’s Kia Super League.

That begins for the Red Rose against arch-rivals Yorkshire at Headingley on Friday afternoon in front of the Sky Sports cameras (2.30pm).

Smith will then stay on to watch his former Lightning team-mates take on the Vikings in the NatWest T20 Blast at night.

“I can’t wait for it all to start now,” said Steve Titchard’s assistant. “It would be great if the girls can win in front of a big crowd.

“They have been great. They’ve put so much effort in to improve.

“We’ll definitely be hanging around afterwards to watch the (Blast) game. It will be nice to just watch it and relax.”

Smith had a healthy record at Headingley during his career, scoring one hundred and four fifties added to 24 wickets in 19 appearances across all forms.

“I enjoyed playing there,” said the 31-year-old, who was part of England’s backroom staff at the recent World Cup, only to miss the final because it clashed with his testimonial dinner.

“Whether it was just because it was Yorkshire, I don’t know. But hopefully that helps the girls.

“If there’s any information I can pass on about the pitch, the atmosphere, that kind of thing, that’s my job.”

Lancashire have one injury concern ahead of the opener, with England fast bowler Kate Cross rated a 50/50 chance due to a hip flexor problem.

It may be that Titchard, Smith and captain Danielle Hazell decide not to risk her with it being the first game.

Cross, however, will travel: “I’ve watched plenty of Roses men’s matches and seen what it means to everyone,” said the 25-year-old.