RAINFORD cricketer Ellie Threlkeld has welcomed a newly-created partnership between Lancashire Cricket and Manchester United that is aiming to change perceptions and attitudes towards women in sport.

The Thunder squad, who have recently returned from an historic pre-season tour to Dubai – a first undertaken by any first-class country – will attend Old Trafford on Sunday (March 27) for Manchester United Women’s Super League fixture against Everton.

The match will showcase the talent of the women’s players on what will be a memorable and historic occasion, as it will be the first time the team have played at Old Trafford in front of a crowd.

Later in the summer, the Manchester United Women’s squad will return the favour and support Thunder in a T20 double header at Emirates Old Trafford when they take on Southern Vipers on Wednesday, June 1 (6:30pm start).

Manchester United, who launched their ‘Change the Game’ campaign last month, will look to maximise opportunities to grow the fan base and inspire the next generation of players and supporters. Both clubs will work together throughout the summer to encourage women’s sport and to push the boundaries to improve the environment for our players, whilst also providing a platform to inspire the next generation to take up sport.

Threlkeld, Thunder wicket keeper who captained the squad during the recent pre-season tour, said: “It’s amazing news that Lancashire Cricket and Manchester United have teamed up to promote women’s sport and to challenge the stereotypes that exist in football and cricket – both on and off the pitch.

“I know the squad are looking forward to being at Old Trafford on Sunday to support the Manchester United Women’s team and likewise, we look forward to welcoming them at Emirates Old Trafford in June. Hopefully we’ll put a show on in front of what we are hoping will be a good crowd. I would encourage anyone who wants to promote women in sport to join us at both Old Trafford and Emirates Old Trafford for the respective events.

“Lancashire Cricket are really leading the way when it comes to promoting women’s cricket, as shown by the recent pre-season tour to Dubai. It was the first women’s tour ever undertaken by a first-class county and it really shows their ongoing commitment to growing women’s cricket.”

Katie Zelem, Manchester United Women’s captain, added: “We are delighted to be teaming up with our peers down the road at Lancashire Cricket to work together to celebrate women’s sport in Manchester.

“It is so important that we maximise opportunities like this to continue to develop women’s sport and work collaboratively in our city to inspire a new generation of supporters and athletes.

“It is fantastic to have the support from the Thunder team in the stands on Sunday at Old Trafford and I know our squad are looking forward to returning the favour in June.”