Women's Big Bash League: Kate Cross on Brisbane Heat chance

Holly Ferling and other Big Bash League players
Australia international Holly Ferling (with bat) will be one of Cross's team-mates at Brisbane Heat

Seamer Kate Cross is excited by the prospect of being among seven England players taking part in the inaugural Women's Big Bash League in Australia.

The WBBL is a Twenty20 competition with eight franchises - aligned with the men's Big Bash League teams - playing 59 games from 5 December to 24 January.

"I'm very excited about signing for Brisbane Heat," said Cross, who will be joined by team-mate Lauren Winfield.

England recently lost the multi-format Women's Ashes series to Australia.

However, Lancashire's Cross hopes the opportunity to play down under alongside Australia's top women players, and other international stars, can be of significant help to the national side.

England players down under
Katherine Brunt (Perth Scorchers)Sarah Taylor (Adelaide Strikers)
Kate Cross (Brisbane Heat)Lauren Winfield (Brisbane Heat)
Charlotte Edwards (Perth Scorchers)Danielle Wyatt (Melbourne Renegades)
Heather Knight (Hobart Hurricanes)Laura Marsh (New South Wales - WNCL)

"We are currently enjoying unprecedented times for women's cricket, with increasing levels of professionalism, improving standards and a constantly growing profile," she added.

"With the ICC World Twenty20 in India coming up early next year, playing in the WBBL will give us the perfect opportunity to practise our skills against some of the best players in the world in a highly competitive environment.

"Playing in the WBBL should also give us a taste of what we can look forward to experiencing in the ECB's Women's Cricket Super League in England next summer."

Also heading to Australia will be England captain Charlotte Edwards (Perth Scorchers), vice-captain Heather Knight (Hobart Hurricanes) and wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor (Adelaide Strikers) - all of whom had successful spells with Australian state sides in last winter's Women's National Cricket League (WNCL).

Meanwhile, fast bowler Katherine Brunt joins Edwards at the Scorchers, and all-rounder Danielle Wyatt has signed for Melbourne Renegades.

Fellow spinner Laura Marsh will play for New South Wales in the 50-over WNCL - while Knight, Taylor, Winfield and Wyatt will also feature in the WNCL.

Kate Cross is congratulated
Cross (being congratulated) featured in the ODIs and Test match of the Women's Ashes, but was not selected for the Twenty20 internationals