Alyssa Healy has been confirmed as Australia's new women's captain following Meg Lanning's retirement from international cricket. The 33-year-old Lanning announced her retirement from all international cricket last month, with Healy tipped to become her successor.
That theory was confirmed on Saturday, with the wicket-keeper announced as the new women's captain for all three formats. All-rounder Tahlia McGrath has been named vice-captain.
"I am honoured to accept the role of captain and am grateful for the opportunity to lead our team," Healy said in a statement. "I've really enjoyed the support of the players over the past few months and their encouragement to continue to be who I am and lead the group like I normally would from within.
"My approach will remain consistent to what it has been previously, but I'll make my own mark on the role and be sure that I'm doing the best I possibly can for this group to maintain the success that we've had. It's an exciting time to be involved with this team, we're seeing the emergence of incredible young talent and are challenging ourselves to continually evolve as a group."
The decision on Healy and McGrath was ratified at a Cricket Australia (CA) board meeting on Friday. "Alyssa is an outstanding player and leader who has earned enormous respect both on and off the field," CA's general manager of high-performance and national teams Ben Oliver said.
"Alyssa brings a wealth of experience to the role, and we have great confidence in her ability to successfully lead the Australian women's team in tandem with Tahlia as vice-captain. We are extremely fortunate to have a talented and experienced group of players who will provide great support to Alyssa and Tahlia as the team evolves and seeks to build on its outstanding performances."
Cricket world reacts to Alyssa Healy captaincy news
Healy filled in for Lanning as captain for extended periods over the last two years, including this year's Ashes series. Her reign as captain will begin later this month after declaring herself a near-certain starter for the red-ball Test against India at the famous Wankhede Stadium on December 21.
The star wicket-keeper-batter missed the entire WBBL season recently after badly hurting her finger while trying to break up a fight between her two dogs, but has returned to training. "I assume I'll be out there (for the Test), they're going to have to do a lot to stop me walking out there and catching the first delivery," she said on Friday.
"Everything's going really, really well. I started back in the nets the last week-and-a-half so I'm all on track to fly to India on Wednesday for a big series over there."
McGrath, who skippers the Adelaide Strikers in the WWBL, is now looming as Healy's heir-apparent in the national set-up. "Alyssa and I have played together for a long time, we know our respective leadership styles well and I look forward to helping her lead our group as we embark on a busy but exciting international schedule," McGrath said.
Cricket fans and commentators were overjoyed for Healy. The 33-year-old is one of the most-loved and respected athletes in Australian sport.
Great, she is the obvious choice!
— Brett Hapi (@utalkntme) December 8, 2023
Brilliant 👏🏻👏🏻 Well deserved
— AFL MRO (@AflMro) December 8, 2023
Well done Alyssa. Good way to lead the next gen in twilight of her career.
Was hoping maybe they would name McGrath skipper for T20 format to give her exposure at that Intl level and then have another future leader as VC.
— Gaz Stephenson (@katandthat) December 8, 2023
Congratulations Alyssa and Tahlia 👏
— Shelley Roylance #MaskUp and #VoteYES (@RoylanceShelley) December 8, 2023
— Cricket Devotees 🇮🇳 (@DevoteesCricket) December 8, 2023
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