In a late change, Mark McInnes has taken over from Alex Blackwell as the head coach of Lancashire Thunder for the fourth and final season of the Women’s Cricket Super League. The former Australian captain recently returned home after accepting a job in genetic counselling at the Royal Sydney Children’s Hospital. She had already spent a week with the team in England.
McInnes, who was due to work as Blackwell’s assistant during the WCSL, will now step into the head coach’s role. He will continue to maintain contact with Blackwell through the tournament.
“Whilst it’s a shame that Alex won’t be with us, Mark has got a great CV,” said Bobby Cross, Thunder general manager.
McInnes previously worked with New South Wales Breakers, Sydney Thunder and was also involved in the reinvention of Blackwell’s batting through the last five years of her international career. He was her ‘go-to coach’ and someone she greatly credited for her improvement through that period.
“I’ve been an assistant coach for a long time, so getting the opportunity to be a head coach with the backing of Alex and the club will be great,” said McInnes on his appointment. “I’m really excited because of the group that we’ve got. We have seven girls who’ve played international cricket, and there’s a few with points to prove.”
“Anyone who knows Alex knows she will throw herself wholeheartedly into everything she gets involved with,” said Cross. “So it was no surprise that when she found out she couldn’t commit to the full KSL, she was still keen to come over here and give us a week of her time to introduce Mark and have a smooth handover. The girls really appreciated her being around because what she started last year and put in place was excellent.”
Lancashire go into the tournament with one of their strongest squads yet with Kate Cross at the helm. They begin their campaign with a match against Southern Vipers on August 6.