Rachael Haynes was adamant selectors have “loads of options” to fill key leadership roles in the Australian cricket team after the national vice-captain confirmed her retirement from international cricket.
It comes on the back of captain Meg Lanning taking an indefinite break from cricket, as well as men’s ODI captain Aaron Finch retiring, as Australian cricket prepares for a regeneration.
Hayes, 35, has been Lanning’s deputy since 2018 and didn’t want to anoint a successor, with a group of veterans including Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry having all been part of the team for more than 12 years.
“I don’t want to throw names out there or anyone under too much pressure, but one thing I will say is behind the scenes they have been preparing for this moment for a little while now,” Haynes said on Thursday.
“I think they have plenty of options that they can draw on. It comes down to whether they are thinking short or long term. There’s some fantastic leaders within that group who don’t have the titles at the moment, but I’m looking forward to seeing who that is.”
With the Australians not set to play another international until January, Haynes, who has been national vice-captain since 2018, decided to hang up her cap after 84 T20 internationals, 77 one-day internationals and six Tests.
“It’s the right time to go. I had the opportunity to pause and reflect after the Comm Games, and looking ahead knowing there’s a lot of cricket coming up, the thing that stood out to me was I wasn’t that excited about getting ready,” she sad.
“That’s the first time in my career I have felt like that. I thought that was maybe a sign to step away.”
Haynes scored nearly 4000 runs across all three formats, including 98 on Test debut against England in 2009, two ODI centuries and 19 half-centuries.
She played pivotal roles in Australia’s Women’s T20 World Cup victories in 2018 and 2020, Women’s World Cup win in 2022 and historic Commonwealth Games gold medal run in July.
“In a lot of ways it’s nice to walk away on my own terms. To walk away with a gold medal is special,” she said.
“The most amazing thing is the success I have been able to enjoy over a long period of time.
“I don’t think you can go past the T20 World Cup in Australia as a favourite moment. That was just the most incredible experience. I’ll never forget that.”
Haynes will continue as captain of the Sydney Thunder in the WBBL.