Danielle Hazell is confident the Yorkshire Diamonds, boosted by three new overseas recruits and two more England players, have the squad to finish the Kia Super League with a bang this summer.
The Diamonds have announced their squad for the fourth and final edition of the KSL, which will be replaced by the Hundred from 2020. This summer’s competition kicks off in early August.
New coach Hazell is one of a host of changes at Emerald Headingley having replaced Paul Grayson, who has taken on the role of men’s batting coach.
The Diamonds have brought in England bowlers Katie George and Linsey Smith and have three new overseas players in Alyssa Healy, Jemimah Rodrigues and Chloe Tryon.
Australian wicketkeeper batsman Healy, one of the world’s best players at present, has played briefly for Yorkshire women before, whilst her husband Mitchell Starc represented the White Rose county in 2012.
Rodrigues, an 18-year-old batting all-rounder, is a rising star of Indian cricket. South Africa all-rounder Tryon has made over 130 international appearances.
Aussie Healy will represent the Diamonds immediately after this summer’s Ashes series, when it is hoped she will come up against team-mates to be Katherine Brunt and Diamonds captain Lauren Winfield.
So far, in three years of the Super League, the Diamonds have not yet qualified for Finals Day by finishing in the top three places in the group stages.
Hazell played for the Diamonds in the first year of the KSL before crossing the Pennines to captain Lancashire Thunder for the last two years. She has since retired as a player.
“Over the last few years, Yorkshire, a massive county, have probably underperformed in the Super League,” she said. “We’ve now got a chance to put it right in the final year of the competition as it is now.
“Hopefully some good signings and good performances can achieve that.
“I believe it’s a good squad and one of strongest I’ve seen at the Diamonds. We’re pretty happy with it.”
Hazell is currently helping to coach Durham’s women, but their schedule concludes at the end of June. Another change for the Diamonds is that Melvyn Betts is the new assistant coach, replacing Gareth Breese, who is now full-time with England.
Hazell added: “This job a lot different to what I’m used to, but I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve got with Yorkshire.
“I’m looking forward to an exciting month or so through July and August.
“It’s the natural step from playing, and coaching is always something I’ve been interested. It’s great to have that chance to give something back to the game. Hopefully I can do a decent job.
“Once you take on the captaincy, it has an air of responsibility. That comes with coaching as well. You can look at both roles in a similar kind of light I guess.”