Story of Rachael Haynes – Australia’s ever reliable, selfless and versatile leader

Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist and a five-time World Cup winner, Rachael Haynes who also is one among the most elite cricketing faces in Australia and all over the world, aged 35, in a shocking move, has declared herself retired from international cricket and had cleared that the upcoming 8th edition of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) will be her last cricketing appearance.

 

Rachael Haynes. PC: Getty Images
Rachael Haynes. PC: Getty Images

 

On the back of consistent performances, Rachael Haynes earned herself a tag of ‘an ever reliable player,’ the maturity in her game and around the group has always had her looked on as a leader and being a core part of the Australian team, there simply is a complete lot of Rachael Haynes that Australia will be missing out on.

Rachael Haynes has got a story and a script like many others but is different in its own way. The story sees a beginning, a rise, a fall, a turning point, a relaunch, a taste of success and a deserving finish. Continue reading.

THE BEGINNING :

Rachael Haynes has called it time on a hard-made, 13-year long and illustrious career spanning 167 games in representing Australia. Haynes made her international debut in ’09 after just having represented the Australia Youth Team and on her debut against England at Lord’s scored 26 off 45 balls before being bowled by Holly Colvin.

 

Rachael Haynes. PC: Getty Images
Rachael Haynes. PC: Getty Images

BAGGY GREEN MOMENT :

Just three days after her ODI debut, there came the baggy green moment that the boxing day born would have dreamed of growing up. She didn’t quite walk in to bat in the most favourable of conditions as the scorecard read Australia 5-28. But the ever reliable, Haynes, made the outing a favourable one as she alongside skipper Jodie Fields went on to stitch a record sixth-wicket partnership of 228 runs but Haynes on debut was bowled by Laura Marsh on 98, and the agonizing couple took longer than expected to arrive. The following day she picked up her first test wicket in Nicky Shaw after 4 maiden overs.

T20I DEBUT :

Following a good ODI series against New Zealand in the 2009-10 series, she made her T20I during the 2nd leg of the same series. On debut, batting at No. 6 she scored an unbeaten 14 in Australia’s 2-run defeat to White Ferns. Days later, at the Westpac Stadium, she registered career-best T20I bowling figures of 3/19 from two overs.

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THE RISE :

The 2013 Women’s Cricket World Cup that Australia eventually went on to win, saw Rachael Hayes with consistent performances as she top-scored with 39 for Australia in the opener, then scored 83 off 108 balls against South Africa, then got to 71* off 61 against Sri Lanka and in the final scored 52 off 74 balls and she finished as the forth-highest run-scorer having compiled 273 at an average of 45.50.

THE FALL :

Rachael Haynes then toured England for her second Ashes series, faced a steep dip in her form and a couple of ducks after strings of low scores were an insult to injury. In the lead-up to the 2013-14 Women’s Ashes, Haynes had been selected for the series and was prepared with the squad in Perth but then was informed that the size of the touring group would be cut and she was no longer required. She did not receive a national team contract for the 2014-15 season and then went on to finish her university degree before finding full-time work. Late in 2016, there were strong rumors of Haynes considering retirement from cricket.

THE TURNING POINT :

A three-day-per-week job offer from Cricket New South Wales and a $17,000 state contract raise combined in settling Haynes got one last crack. Prior to the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, Australia toured New Zealand where Haynes initially was not selected, but a last-minute surprise call-up after injuries to Alex Blackwell and Ellyse Perry presented a long-awaited final crack she wanted to come around. At Eden Park, on return to the international stage, Haynes scored 50(61) and despite Australia having lost the game by 5 wickets and she having had a fitness issue days later, selectors were happy to have her in the mix and Rachael Haynes earned a national team contract for the 2017–18 season.

A RELAUNCH :

Rachael Haynes just in time recovered from a serious ankle injury just in time and was named in Australia’s squad for the 2017 Cricket World Cup in England, she was presented with a couple of opportunities in leading Australia, but personally didn’t have good outings. Regular skipper, Meg Lanning was sidelined for six to eight months and Rachael Haynes was in as stand-in skipper and had personally performances as well with 89(58) in the 2nd ODI and scored 12(10) in the first T20I which Australia won by six wickets to retain the Ashes. The Only Test, famous for Ellyse Perry’s double-ton, was drawn under Haynes captaincy and is one worth a highlight.

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THE MUCH-AWAITED :

After having missed out on her maiden century on her Test debut, she got there in 2019, against Sri Lanka at the Allan Border Field with a score of 118 off 132 balls in a 110-run ODI win. Rachael Haynes got to her second century early this year during the Women’s World Cup against England with a score of 130 which is also her career best.

THE SUCCESS :

Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning with the ODI World Cup Trophy. PC: Getty Images
Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning with the ODI World Cup Trophy. PC: Getty Images

 

A decorated career sees Rachael Haynes as a World Cup champion from the 2013 and 2022 editions, Women’s T20 World Cup champion from 2010, 2012, 2018 and 2020 editions and the most recent on the international stage being the Commonwealth Gold Gold medal win in Birmingham, England. In domestic cricket, she won the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) for 6 straight times starting from 2011-12 to the 2018-19 season. In the Women’s Big Bash League, she won a couple of titles in the 2015–16 and 2020–21 editions and also is a 4-time winner of the Australian Women’s Twenty20 Cup having won in 4 successive editions starting from 2009-10 to 2014-15.

INDIVIDUAL WINNINGS :

Her long list of individual awards sees her as the WNCL Player of the Tournament from the 2017-18 edition, WNCL Captains’ Most Valuable Player from the 2017-18 edition, a 3-time WNCL Player of the Final having won the title in 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2014-15 editions. She also got the Sharon Tredrea Award in 2010-11 and then the Alex Blackwell Medal in 2017-18 and the most recent was the ICC Women’s Player of the Month in March 2022.

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