BOLTON cricketer Meg Fairclough has said ciao to the game and her successful spell as Lancashire Women's captain after moving to Milan.

Fairclough, from Egerton, has emigrated to Italy's fashion capital following her partner Fabio's job offer to run a hotel called the Rosa Grand.

Twenty-six-year-old Fairclough also works in the hospitality industry and is hoping to start work in her new home city this summer.

"I'm currently trying to learn Italian," she said.

"Fabio got approached by an Italian company (Starhotels) to come and manage a hotel.

"It was a big decision for us, but an offer too good to refuse, and it all happened quite quickly."

Fairclough worked at the McDonald Hotel and Spa in Manchester for six years, and then in hospitality recruitment and as a training consultant/executive prior to the move to Italy.

She is one of the top female cricketers in Lancashire, having played first and second-team cricket for Egerton – where her brother Tom plays, her father David is chairman and her grandfather Brian is president – while she has been played for her county since the age of 12.

Last season, she skippered Lancs Thunder, including current England trio Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone and Alex Hartley, to an historic double of the T20 and one-day Championship titles – their first ever top-flight silverware.

"Unfortunately, cricket's not a big thing in Italy, and I think they even closed Milan Cricket Club last year," she said.

"But what better time to hang up the spikes than after winning the double?

"I wish the girls and the coaching staff all the best. I will be following from Milan.

"I'm 26 years old, so it's an early retirement. You never say never. If things change and I come back to the UK or go somewhere else more dominated by cricket, of course I'd look at playing again. I've played the game since I was 11 and love it."

She recently returned home to travel to Lord's with her Lancashire team-mates to be presented with the one-day Championship trophy they dramatically won by a point over Roses rivals Yorkshire in late August.

It was a Lord's Taverners event, and the trophy was presented to her by their ambassador Sir Michael Parkinson.

"We pipped them by a point, and to get the title presented by a Yorkshireman was perfect!" she chuckled. "In all fairness, he was fantastic about it.

"It was a great day for the girls at such a fantastic venue. We all really enjoyed it, and it was reward for the season we had.

"The girls have the potential to do it again. But the great thing is they won't overthink it. They will just go and play their natural game. There will be a bit of pressure, but I'm sure they will handle it."