Published: 11th August, 2017
Alex Hartley says she and the rest of England’s World Cup winners are ready to go back to work as the highlight of the domestic season swings into action.
Three weeks after the 23-year-old left-arm spinner from Clitheroe took two wickets in England’s thrilling final win over Lord’s, Hartley will be across London at the Kia Oval with Surrey Stars as they start their Kia Super League campaign against Yorkshire Diamonds.
Hartley said: “We had a week or so off after the World Cup to enjoy the win but it’s good to be back playing again and hopefully helping to promote women’s cricket even more in front of big audiences.”
Hartley is one of seven internationals in the Stars squad, which includes England team-mates Tammy Beaumont, Laura Marsh and captain Nat Sciver.
— Alexandra Hartley (@AlexHartley93) July 25, 2017
Wet weather has disrupted their preparation, with just four overs possible in Tuesday’s warm-up game against champions Southern Vipers on the Isle of Wight.
“That’s been frustrating,” said Hartley. “But I think it’s been the same for a lot of the teams. We’ll be ready for Sunday though and are really looking forward to it.”
Hartley is particularly keen to showcase her skills in the shortest format, having excelled for England in the 50 over competition. The 23-year-old has played in 17 ODIs since she made her debut against Pakistan a year ago, but just one T20 international.
“I did well in the Super League last year so this is another opportunity for me in T20s,” she added. “The basic skills are the same but you do need to be adaptable. It will be exciting and challenging playing against the other England girls over the next few weeks but when you look at the players in each of the six teams the quality is outstanding. Every game will be a real test.”
Stars’ clash with Yorkshire forms the second part of a double-header with Surrey men’s NatWest T20 Blast game against Sussex Sharks and starts at 6.45pm.
A full-house is expected and the game is live on Sky Sports to provide even more exposure.
Hartley, of course, is used to performing in front of big crowds. Lord’s was full for England’s final win over India. “My England career has only been 12 months so that’s probably the highlight already – it was a dream come true, fantastic!” she added.
“But we’ve got an important tournament now which is part of our preparation for the Ashes. I think the Super League is wide open but we definitely feel at Surrey that we’ve got a good chance.”
The Stars have replaced India’s Harmanpreet Kaur, who has been ruled out with a shoulder injury, with South African Lizelle Lee, who scored 269 runs during South Africa’s run to the World Cup semi-finals and hit 12 sixes, more than any other player.
Head Coach Richard Bedbrook added: “It’s really exciting to be welcoming such a dynamic and aggressive opener to our squad.”
Tickets (just £5 for adults and £1 for U16s) are still available for all of Surrey Stars’ Kia Super League fixtures at the Kia Oval. Head to our ticketing site for more information.