In the absence of the regular captain Rachael Haynes, the teenage pace sensation Hannah Darlington has been handed over the captaincy of the defending champions. At 19 years and 262 days, Darlington has become the youngest player to lead a side in Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), going past Meg Lanning and Sophie Molineux, who first became captains at the age of 23.
Last summer, Darlington became the youngest-ever New South Wales skipper when she filled in the big shoes of wicket-keeper bat Alyssa Healy in two Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) matches. Her experience of leading her state side in two matches will definitely help her going into the seventh season of WBBL.
“It’s a huge honour. I’ve been part of this club for nearly five years now and supported it the whole way through. To have this opportunity to step in for Rach, who’s been a massive influence on my leadership style, is pretty special and I’m ready to lead a team I’m passionate to be a part of. It was an amazing experience to captain the Breakers, that was another dream come true, and I had Rach and another couple of leadership group players out there with me (for those games). It definitely was a big learning curve but it prepared me quite well to take on the reins (at the Thunder),” Darlington said.
Over the last two WBBL seasons, the right arm seamer has gone from strength to strength. First she was named the Young Gun of WBBL|05, which was her debut season and in WBBL|06, she made it to the team of the tournament.
Coach Trevor Griffin said Darlington was the “natural choice” to replace Haynes. “Hannah is somebody who is passionate about the Thunder Nation, and she’s shown leadership qualities over the last two seasons and was just a natural choice. She’s somebody that the team holds in high regard, and she goes out onto the field with real passion in her heart and lives and breathes our culture,” he said.
Hannah Darlington and Anikya Learoyd are close friends and the duo shared their stories with the rest of the group, including the new members in the team, Corinne Hall, Jessica Davidson, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and Issy Wong.
“It’s a commitment we made last year to have this shirt presentation (each season), and we’d have loved to do this back in Sydney, but we’re here in Hobart on some beautiful land and with people who came and were willing to put this ceremony on for us. It was a special day not only for me and Annika, but for the whole group,” Darlington said.
Source: Cricket Australia
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.