Thunder are ready to rumble
Lancashire Thunder cricket coach Steve Titchard has described the county's opening Twenty20 success as 'a brilliant lift' ahead of the forthcoming Kia Super League.
The Red Rose put the finishing touches to their T20 Division One title triumph with wins over Surrey and Yorkshire at Banstead Cricket Club.
A number of the Thunder players were involved in the success in Surrey, namely Natalie Brown, Kate Cross, Rachel Dickinson, Sophie Ecclestone, Eve Jones, Emma Lamb and Ellie Threlkeld.
Titchard said: “That’s a brilliant lift moving into the Kia Super League.
“They’ve performed to a good level throughout the summer programme, which is encouraging.”
Titchard and his Thunder squad begin preparations for Friday week’s opener against Yorkshire Diamonds at Headingley with their first training session tomorrow (Tuesday).
They have two warm-up matches as part of their build-up, including one against Loughborough Lightning on Friday.
Titchard can’t wait to get going, saying: “Once you get down to ‘it’s here now’, it has a real excitement about it.
“It’s a short and fast competition, so you need to start well.
“You can be out of it quickly. But, if you win a game or two, you’re in the mix for the top three; we want to get to finals day.
“There’s a nice feel to the players we’ve got and they are a year down the line with the experience.
“It’s an added value that the World Cup has gone so well for England, and I think there’s an extra buzz from our girls that they want to get on their own big stage and show what skills they’ve got.”
Titchard was in charge during last year’s inaugural campaign when the Thunder only won one of five matches.
“There was an air of disappointment because we had underachieved with results, but the theme was definitely one of excitement moving forwards. With the additions we’ve made to our squad, we’re confident of performing well.
“Last year, both our West Indian girls arrived the day before we played Loughborough at Old Trafford with no preparation time, no integration into the group. It wasn’t straightforward.
“This year, we think we’ve got a good lead up to the first game – almost two weeks – and have all the squad together.
Lancashire’s two overseas players to join returning New Zealand all-rounder Amy Satterthwaite are Australian all-rounder Jess Jonassen and another Kiwi, fast bowler Lea Tahuhu.
Titchard added: “We got Amy in last year as a replacement, but just the way she operated made us realise that’s the kind of player we want in the group.”
Lancashire Thunder play Loughborough at Stanley Park, Blackpool on August 20.