Cricket Australia could have another leadership decision to make after Rachael Haynes became the first of the women’s golden generation to retire.
Haynes ended months of speculation after telling teammates this week she was ending her decorated 13-year international career, with the recent Commonwealth Games gold medal her last campaign for the all-conquering side.
The 35-year-old will also make this WBBL summer her last, after an international career that spanned 167 games and 3818 runs.
One of the world’s best top-order batters, Haynes’ defining knock remains the one that kept Australia’s T20 World Cup alive against Sri Lanka in 2020.
Regularly called upon in times of need, that success marked one of three T20 World Cup triumphs for Haynes to go with two ODI crowns.
But her exit – just days after skipper Aaron Finch quit men’s ODI cricket – leaves CA with another potential captaincy call to make.
Meg Lanning’s long-serving deputy, Haynes would have been the one to captain Australia this summer if Lanning does not return in time from her indefinite break for personal reasons.
Alyssa Healy would likely now be favourite for the role with a T20 World Cup next February, while Jess Jonnasen and Tahlia McGrath offer more long-term options.
Ash Gardner has also undergone leadership training, while Sophine Molineux recently assumed the captaincy of Victoria.
“I don’t want to throw names out there … but they (CA) have been preparing for this moment for a while,” Haynes said.
Asked whether it would be an easy transition for NSW captain Healy, Haynes said: “She’s probably going to hate me saying this, but I think it would be.
“She’s obviously done a little bit of an apprenticeship in state cricket
“There’s some other players as well who are currently leading teams as well in the female domestic space.
“It probably comes down to what direction they want to head in, whether they’re thinking short or long term.”
Haynes revealed she made the call to retire after losing excitement at the prospect of preparing for another summer.
But the decision almost came far earlier, after left-hander was dropped following the 2013 Ashes loss and spent four years out of the side.
Haynes said the fact she fought he way back was one of her proudest achievements, averaging 41.25 across all formats since her return.
“I honestly thought that perhaps I was going to walk away from the game at that time,” Haynes said.
“But I had a lot of people get behind me and support me through that period and give me another chance and it’s changed my life.”
Her retirement is the first from within the all-conquering team since Alex Blackwell’s in 2018, while coach Matthew Mott also left at the end of last summer.
Australia’s selectors have long set their eyes on succession planning, with Lanning (30), Healy (32) and Ellyse Perry (31) having all been part of the team for more than 12 years.