RACHAEL Haynes has been unveiled as Australia’s captain for this summer’s Ashes against world champions England.
Having had shoulder surgery in August, full-time captain Meg Lanning has been ruled out of the multi-format series (three one-dayers, one day-night Test, three Twenty20s) which starts on October 22.
Lanning sat out two matches at July’s World Cup with a shoulder injury and on each occasion she was replaced as both player and captain by 30-year-old batter Haynes.
Haynes’ promotion to the top job in the game is somewhat of a surprise considering Alex Blackwell is a fixture in the side.
Alongside being Lanning’s vice-captain, Blackwell is also Haynes’ captain for New South Wales in the Women’s National Cricket League and Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League.
Nevertheless, Haynes brings plenty of experience to the job, having represented Australia 66 times on the international stage.
“To be named captain of your country particularly in such a big series like the Ashes is a huge honour,” Haynes on Wednesday.
Australia reclaimed the Ashes in 2015 on UK soil and although England won the last match between the two sides at the World Cup, Haynes does not see that match serving as an Ashes form indicator.
“It’s going to be a really exciting series, I think the multi-format points system in particular doesn’t favour either team, so to win the Ashes you genuinely have to be the best team across all three formats.
“To be the first team male or female to play in a day-night Ashes Test match is going to be awesome. To have that opportunity is really exciting, you can only ever be part of history once.”
The right-hander is looking to make the most of home ground advantage, having witnessed how big a role the crowd played in England’s march to World Cup glory in the UK.
“Playing against England on their home turf during the World Cup you could noticeably tell the crowd was on their side so we’re looking forward to turning the tables…