Women's Sport

[Exclusive] Unlocking the Journey of Kate Cross: A Champion's Tale in Women's Cricket

Kate Cross sits down with SportsBoom to discuss the evolution of women's cricket and England's ambitions for future triumphs. Explore the remarkable career and insights of the Ashes-winning cricket star.

Neil Goulding
Neil Goulding

Last Updated: 2024-03-15

Louis Hobbs

5 minutes read

Kate Cross didn’t have far to look for sporting inspiration – her dad, David, was an FA Cup winner. A revered striker in his heyday, David helped West Ham beat Arsenal in 1980 in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley.

That winning mentality rubbed off on his daughter, with Kate having dedicated herself to her craft and carving out her distinguished career as one of England’s most respected cricket stars. 

Reflections on Growth 

A decade after making her international debut for her country, the Ashes-winning 32-year-old is understandably delighted with how far women’s cricket has grown since its inception, and rightly proud of the significant role she has played in that growth and success.

“The last ten years have moved so exponentially, it’s hard to have imagined that the women’s game could have moved so quickly,” reflected Cross, ahead of England’s forthcoming T20 and One-Day International series away to New Zealand (19 March – 7 April).

England play the White Ferns in five T20 contests next month in Dunedin, Nelson, and Wellington, followed by three ODIs, one in Wellington and two in Hamilton, before a shorter home series with Pakistan in May.

“Women’s cricket is massive now, but when I started playing cricket for Lancashire, we’d have six county games in a season – and that was it,” added Cross. “Now it feels like a special time when we get a weekend off, or a week here or there to get away and relax. That’s hard to come by now with the calendar being so busy.” 

The Changing Landscape 

“But it’s great there are so many opportunities, the game has changed enormously. People often ask me where it will be in the next five or ten years, which is difficult to answer given the speed of growth so far.”

“There is room for all the formats, but for me, it’s a case of making sure they all get enough spotlight and none of them get left behind.”

There are more opportunities than ever before at the elite level, with the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India, Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia, and The Hundred in the UK offering players the chance to shine across an array of formats.

Throw in a thriving UK county game and strong international scene and it’s easy to see why women’s cricket has captured the imagination. 

Image Credits: Sky Sports

Image Credits: Sky Sports

Women’s Cricket on the Rise 

Just like England’s footballing Lionesses, Cross hopes the England women’s cricket team can achieve a landmark win to elevate the sport to even greater heights.

“I think women’s sport is growing all over the country, but the Lionesses’ have really led the charge with their Euros success,” added Cross. “Winning things obviously helps, The Lionesses winning the Euros was huge for women’s football – and that’s what we’re craving now.”

“We want to win an Ashes or ICC Trophy, we want to win a trophy and the country to be proud of an achievement like that. So many people bought into our recent Ashes series with Australia, you’re constantly craving those events to pull the crowds in.”

“Australia have always been the front-runner, their success over the last ten years has been unparalleled. They’ll go down as one of the greatest teams that have ever been, but what we’ve seen now in the last 12-18 months in the bigger picture of women’s cricket, is that a lot of teams are starting to beat the top teams.” 

Targeting Success 

England is targeting success in the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in September and October. They won the first edition of the competition in 2009 but have never won the event since then, having frustratingly lost three finals to arch-rivals Australia in 2012, 2014, and 2018 respectively.

Australia have won six of the eight T20 World Cups so far – but Cross believes England have a different winning mentality and can challenge their dominance.

“Our new coach Jon Lewis wanted to change our mindset when he came in, he wanted us to entertain and inspire people."

“He’s changed the focus from the result of the game to us enjoying ourselves and creating something that people want to come and watch. That’s almost as important as winning. It sounds cheesy to say, but he’s taken away the fear of failure.”

“Ironically, the byproduct of that is that we’ve started to win more – beating teams like Australia in crunch games in front of big crowds. It was great beating them, but we celebrated selling out an ODI series – and we sold out Lords’, Edgbaston and the Oval."

Experience the thrill of women's cricket with SportsBoom! Stay updated on Kate Cross' journey and join us in cheering for England's success in the upcoming T20 World Cup

Neil Goulding
Neil GouldingSenior Sports Reporter

Neil has been a journalist for longer than he'd care to remember, having written for national newspapers and respected publications for over 25 years. For the last three years he has worked freelance for BBC Sport, working on the production desk as a sub-editor and also as a writer, covering a whole range of sports.