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Kate Cross looking to Hundred as T20 World Cup audition

England seamer hasn't give up hope of earning a place in the squad for Bangladesh

Valkerie Baynes
Valkerie Baynes
02-Jul-2024
Kate Cross hasn't given up hope of representing England at this year's T20 World Cup and sees the upcoming Hundred as her chance to clinch a spot.
Cross returned to England's ODI side for an emphatic eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in Worcester on Sunday, after an abdominal strain ruled her out of the series opener, which England won by nine wickets for a 2-0 lead.
Ahead of the final 50-over match in Bristol on Wednesday, Cross remained firmly focused on her role in ODIs as England's senior seam bowler but, when asked, indicated that she would do all in her power to convince head coach Jon Lewis to pick her for the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in October.
"Lewy's said, 'never say never,' with T20 cricket, he's said he's definitely not ruled me out for future series or games," Cross said. "But I can just control what I can control and I know I've got the Hundred coming up where I'll be able to open the bowling and try and finish games off for the Superchargers.
"So for me, that's my opportunity to showcase to him what I can do and if that's good enough, it's good enough, and if it's not, then I'll obviously support the girls from quite a distance as I won't be in Bangladesh."
Until England hosted Sri Lanka late last summer, Cross hadn't featured in a T20I since December 2019 and she hasn't taken a wicket in the format since the Women's Ashes almost six months prior to that. She has 11 wickets from 16 matches at an average of 33.72 and economy rate of 7.22.
She wasn't part of the squad for five T20Is in New Zealand earlier this year, or the three against Pakistan more recently, before taking 1 for 31 from 10 overs to help bowl the White Ferns out for 141 in Worcester, where spinner Sophie Ecclestone took 5 for 25 from nine overs.
Should Cross be overlooked for the T20 World Cup, there is an ODI version to aim for next year in India, after the multi-format Ashes series in Australia.
"We are probably more focused on the T20 World Cup at the minute, obviously that's the one more in front of us, but we're still trying to evolve our 50-over game as well to make sure that we are as well prepared as we possibly can be when it gets to that Ashes series," Cross said. "And when we get to the World Cup in India, obviously conditions in India, they'll be so different to what we're facing at the minute.
"That's where winning games of cricket, how we are at the minute, is really pleasing because we're playing what's in front of us and as we keep moving forward as a group and learning how best to play conditions, then hopefully what we're learning from these series, we'll travel over and we'll be able to keep that ruthless nature and take that into big ICC events and obviously that'll stand you in good stead to win trophies."
The ruthless streak she speaks of is something England have tried to cultivate since Pakistan's recent visit, where the hosts won both white-ball series but showed a distinct lack of killer instinct when they had their opponents on the ropes.
"We probably had a series against Pakistan a couple of weeks ago where we maybe didn't play the kind of cricket that we wanted to," Cross said. "That was something that we chatted quite thoroughly about and how we wanted to go about this series and that's probably shown in the cricket that we've played.
"It's definitely something we talk a lot about. It's a hard skill to nail down and for different teams I think it looks different and I think that's what we're still trying to work out as a one-day unit, how to be consistently ruthless and obviously that changes with pitch conditions, opposition, where we are in the world and how we're playing our cricket.
"That's something that we're still learning as a group. We've still got a lot of young faces around... there's still a lot of inexperience in the group and I think everyone now is trying to work out how they individually can be ruthless whilst we're still trying to be ruthless as a team. I say that… we've not lost an ODI series under Lewy yet. So there's obviously a ruthless element in that."

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women's cricket, at ESPNcricinfo