Who could be the next Captain of Australia Women’s Cricket team after Meg Lanning?

Meg Lanning’s retirement from the game has left a big void in the Australian team. Lanning had a great run as captain winning 5 World titles, a Gold at the Commonwealth Games, and had an eighty percent winning record as captain. She has left an unmatchable legacy behind and choosing a successor will be challenging. Moreover, with the India tour just a month away, the top authorities at Cricket Australia also face a time crunch.

The face of Australian Cricket Meg Lanning Retires from International Cricket. PC: Getty Images
The face of Australian Cricket Meg Lanning Retires from International Cricket. PC: Getty Images

Fortunately, Australia has made efforts to nurture the next generation of leaders. Some players have captained WBBL and WNCL teams while some have received mentoring from former captain Belinda Clark during leadership programmes and camps. While matching Lanning’s level of success will be tough, there are a few players in the setup suited to be the captain.

The first and most obvious option is Alyssa Healy. She is an exceptional wicketkeeper batter who has amassed 5668 runs till now and holds the record for most catches and dismissals in a series. Moreover, she has been the vice-captain of the team and was the interim captain in Lanning’s absence. As captain, she led the team to a series victory in India, won the recent series against the West Indies, and retained the Ashes.

She is also willing to take over the captaincy position and said, “I got asked would I love to do it and said ‘sure, why not’. I’ve sort of had a taste of it over the last 18 months and thoroughly enjoyed it…And how I can play a part in taking this group to another level, I’d love to do it.” However, there are a few issues with making her captain. First is her availability for the India tour. There are doubts if she will be able to recover on time and be fit for the test match on December 21. Secondly, when long-term goals are considered, she is not a viable option. She is 33 and may continue to play only for a few more years. While she has the experience, it might be better for the team to select a younger captain.

Tahlia McGrath is a better option for captaincy keeping the long-term goals of the team in mind. Her records as an all-rounder are exemplary. She has amassed 1433 runs and has taken 46 wickets in 67 matches. She also has leadership experience under her belt. She serves as vice-captain under Healy and is currently the captain of the Adelaide Strikers. She has been the captain for the past three years and last season led them to their maiden title. Moreover, she was a part of Belinda Clark’s mentoring program camp and has benefited immensely from the experience. The only issue is that as an all-rounder, she already has a lot on her plate.

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Ashleigh Gardner is another potential option. She has led the Aboriginal XIs, the Governor-General’s XI, and is currently the vice-captain of the Sydney Sixers. While she doesn’t have the same amount of experience as Healy or McGrath, her experience and skills make her a viable option. In 143 matches, she has amassed 2309 runs and has taken 149 wickets. She is also another beneficiary of Belinda Clark’s mentoring.

Australia has a busy season lined up. After the India tour, they will be playing South Africa at home and Bangladesh away. Moreover, with the T20 World Cup next year as well, many factors need to be considered before choosing the next captain.

(Quote sourced from Cricket Australia)

Vaishnavi is a passionate author with an unwavering love for cricket, particularly women’s cricket. Her writing reflects her deep admiration for the sport and her dedication to promoting women’s participation in it. When she’s not following the latest cricket matches, Vaishnavi can be found engrossed in books or enjoying movies.

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