Feb 272012

Heywood CC’s Kate Cross has been named in the England Academy squad to tour South Africa 6-23 April.

Kate, 20, who was on standby for the senior women’s side to travel to New Zealand, will be part of a side who play three T20 sides and three 50-over matches against South Africa.

Players have been training throughout the winter at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough and will be based in Potchesfroom, where they will play all their matches.

It’s another high-profile boost for Heywood CC as Kate will be coaching the club’s new under-9s side in 2012 and to be coached by and England player is something special for the youngsters.

ECB head of England women’s cricket Clare Connor said: “We are really looking forward to seeing how our academy side compete against the full South African team.

“Preparations for the tour have gone well at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough, where the players have been coached and mentored by our lead specialist coaches – assistant coach to the academy Jonathan Finch and head coach Lisa Keightley.

“This tour represents a significant first in the women’s game, where essentially an A side has the opportunity to play a series of matches against full international opposition.

“As such, our players will experience the pressure of international cricket and will be able to gauge where they need to improve to enhance their chances of breaking in to the full England women’s squad.”

Squad: Caroline Atkins (Sussex, captain), Tammy Beaumont (Kent), Deanna Cooper (Kent), Kate Cross (Lancashire), Catherine Dalton (Middlesex), Jodie Dibble (Devon), Amy Jones (Warwickshire), Beth MacGregor (Essex), Alice Macleod (Berkshire), Natasha Miles (Middlesex), Natalie Sciver (Surrey), Helen Shipman (Warwickshire), Fran Wilson (Somerset), Danni Wyatt (Staffordshire)

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