Cross relishing new experience
The England women's academy tour of South Africa will stand them in good stead for a future call-up to the senior side, according to Kate Cross.
The 20-year-old is part of a 14-member squad that has travelled to Potchefstroom for their first international tour, consisting of three Twenty20 games and three 50-over matches against South Africa women.
Lancashire seamer Cross is adamant the opportunity to play international cricket will only benefit the girls' developments.
“It’s going to be a really good opportunity to play international cricket,” she told ecb.co.uk.
“We are going to play South Africa; it’s not just going to India and playing an Under-15 boys team. It’s going to give the girls an idea of where they are in terms of international cricket. Hopefully, we can give them some competition.
“If a couple of the girls get performances, then they are getting performances against what they would be if they were in the England side.
“I think it will stand the girls in good stead and they will hopefully see where they are in terms of their development and where they need to be going, what they need to be doing to be pushing into that England side.”
Although the academy are underdogs for the matches against the hosts, Cross insists they are determined to impress.
“I was speaking to one of the England girls a couple of weeks ago and we were saying the academy side would be fourth or fifth in terms of international rankings,” she said.
“We will give it a good go and I think they will be quite shocked at the kind of standards we have. We are taking three of the England girls with us, so we have got a little bit of experience. We have got inexperience as well, but it will be good for the girls to be play cricket.
“Lisa (Keightley), the head coach, said we are going out there to win. We are not just going to compete, we are going to win.”
With Isa Guha retiring from international cricket, there is a space available in the England bowling department. And Cross, who has yet to make her senior debut, is determined to use the trip as a chance to impress the selectors.
“I’m getting to the stage where I am just pushing into the England side,” she added. “I was first reserve for the New Zealand tour so hopefully I will have a good tour of South Africa and be pushing on the door.
“It’s a good time to be a seamer especially with Isa (Guha) just retiring but to get into the England side, you have to be better than the best team in the world. There is a lot of hard work still to be put in, I’m working hard so hopefully things will go well this summer.
“Mark Lane is not scared to try anything, which is promising for young girls. He doesn't just have the XI ready to play, he is willing to try new things. Some of the girls I have trained with for the last four or five years are now in the England team which is where I want to be. It’s good motivation.”