By Graham Hardcastle
If Katie Levick has anything to do with it, overseas trio Chamari Atapattu, Delissa Kimmince and Beth Mooney will loathe everything Red Rose when Lancashire Thunder visit Emerald Headingley tomorrow.
Levick and her Yorkshire Diamonds team-mates face the old enemy in a televised clash (2.30pm), looking for their third consecutive win in this fixture.
Since the start of the KSL in 2016, the Diamonds have beaten the Thunder twice, to the delight of the Sheffield leg-spinner.
Levick, who went wicketless in Sunday’s opening day defeat to Western Storm at Taunton, said: “We’ve not done so well in the tournament, but we seem to do well against Lancs.
“It’s one of the most important things for us Yorkshire girls, and I’m sure it is the Lancashire girls as well.
“We want three from three.
“Even in a franchise tournament like the Super League, to get an old historical rivalry only adds to the gravitas of getting a crowd in. There’s a bit of fiery tension between us.
“It’s definitely different than any other fixture.
“That might be because I’m a Yorkshire girl, but we’ve been instilling into the new girls ‘You absolutely hate to lose to Lancashire. It must not happen’.
“Beth’s an adopted Yorkshire girl having spent three years as a Diamond and with the Yorkshire women. But the others, we’ve had to bring up to speed.”
Tomorrow’s clash is part of a double header with Yorkshire men as they take on Birmingham Bears in the Vitality Blast immediately afterwards.
It was the same last year when there were two Roses clashes at Headingley, with Yorkshire winning both.
Levick contributed significantly to a comfortable Diamonds success.
“I picked up three wickets, and it really felt like a big day given it was all Yorkshire v Lancashire,” she recalled. “It was probably a highlight of my career.
“This one is at the beginning of the tournament, so we want to kick it off in the right fashion. To do it in a double header on TV, both sides will be up for it.”
And on the 2016 victory at Emirates Old Trafford, in which Katherine Brunt took a hat-trick, she said: “That was pretty cool – the first one on a Test ground – having grown up watching the men’s Roses.
“There was a decent little hostile crowd – I really enjoyed it.”
Levick heads into this game in encouraging form.
She claimed 20 wickets in 13 one-day and T20 appearances for Yorkshire women’s county side earlier this summer, including 13 in eight T20s. Unfortunately, Yorkshire missed out on silverware in both.
But she is confident the Diamonds can make it third time lucky in 2018.
The 27-year-old added: “10 games doesn’t feel like knockout stages any more.
“For the previous two years it felt like if we lost a game, we couldn’t afford to lose another. Now it’s more of a case of ‘If this doesn’t go to plan, we’ve got another chance’. It’s a better tournament to follow.
“Our squad is looking stronger. It’s a good tight unit who’ve prepared well. I think we’ll go well.”
Lancashire also lost their opener to Loughborough at Southport on Sunday.
The Diamonds welcome back Brunt after a back injury ruled her out of Sunday’s opener, but India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s availability for the Thunder is unclear due to visa issues.
It was initially expected that Brunt would miss the first two games, but England have allowed her to play tomorrow instead of Sunday’s game against Surrey at Guildford given the travelling involved.