Really exciting time for us – Kate Cross relishing what lies ahead for England

Kate Cross feels England’s emerging talent makes it “a really exciting time” heading into this summer’s T20 World Cup and beyond.

Jon Lewis’ side will bid to follow up their T20 clean sweep against Pakistan by sealing a 2-0 one-day international series win against them on Wednesday in Chelmsford, weather-permitting.

A hectic schedule lies ahead for England, who next face series in both formats against New Zealand and then Ireland before the T20 World Cup begins in Bangladesh in October.

“We’ve got a lot of youngsters coming through now,” bowler Cross said.

“I think the way Dani Gibson’s stepped up in that T20 series (against Pakistan), opening the bowling and playing the role of a number seven that we’d want is really impressive.

“She’s worked really hard on her all-round game. When you’ve got someone like Nat Sciver-Brunt as your blueprint to follow for the world’s best all-rounder, then it’s nice to have someone to role-model that.

“I think the way Lauren Bell has worked really hard on becoming a better bowler and trying to swing the ball both ways now, not just be an inswinging bowler and reduce her predictability for power-play bowling and stuff… The way she’s gone out there and tried to do that in games is a really brave thing to do.

“Then we’ve got the likes of Bess Heath and Linsey Smith, who have had limited opportunities (over the) winter.

Danielle Gibson has impressed England team-mate Kate Cross in the series against Pakistan
Danielle Gibson has impressed England team-mate Kate Cross in the series against Pakistan (Bradley Colyer/PA)

“But those people being around the squad just really excites me for what’s to come this winter.

“We’ve already spoken about the calendar being absolutely packed, but you are going to need to rely on those people at some point. So it’s a really exciting time for us as a group.”

England will tour South Africa in November after the T20 World Cup before heading to Australia at the turn of the year for the Ashes.

Cross said England were focused on becoming more ruthless in pivotal stages of matches after their unconvincing 37-run ODI win against Pakistan last week in Derby.

The 32-year-old added: “That’s something we saw glimpses of in the Ashes (in 2023).

“Obviously to go toe-to-toe with the best team in the world for the last 10 years (Australia) and beat them in two white-ball series was an incredible achievement.

“I don’t think we’ve lost an ODI series under Jon Lewis, I think we’ve only lost two games, so we’re doing a lot of really good things.

“But it’s how do we keep that mindset positive all the time? That’s something we’re disappointed with from Derby, that we could have been a little bit more ruthless in some of those moments.”