Aussie deputy Haynes calls time on international career

The 35-year-old Australian vice-captain retires from international and state cricket but will play on for WBBL|08

Rachael Haynes has retired from international and state cricket with immediate effect, with the Australia vice-captain confirming today the recent Commonwealth Games gold medal triumph in Birmingham was her last appearance in green and gold.

Haynes will continue to play for Sydney Thunder when the Weber WBBL begins next month but will not be part of the New South Wales team that commences its domestic one-day campaign in a week's time.

The left-handed allrounder, who turns 36 in December, played 167 matches for Australia – six Tests, 77 ODIs and 84 T20Is – in an international career that started at Lord's in 2009.

With a Commonwealth Games gold joining her two ODI and three T20 World Cup triumphs, Haynes said being a leader in the Australian team "has been the greatest privilege of my career".

The best catches from Rachael Haynes' international career

"Playing at this level isn't possible without the support of many people. From clubs, states, coaches, family and friends, I'm so grateful to those who helped me along the way. In particular, I want to thank my parents Ian and Jenni, and partner Leah for their unwavering support," Haynes said in a statement.

"To all the teammates across my career, you are the reason I've played as long as I have. You've inspired me to be better every day. I've learnt something from all of you, on and off the field.

"You've challenged me as a player, helped me grow as a person and most importantly, made cricket fun.

Image Id: 29688D1A46834073A46048FC9BDC3BC2 Image Caption: Haynes, centre, is flanked by Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner with their gold medals // cricket.com.au

"One of the great things about having a long career is watching those around you develop. I'm extremely proud of the way this team has brought players in and nurtured their development.

"The ability to help players transition smoothly has been instrumental to our team's success. To be a leader within this environment has been the greatest privilege of my career."

The vice-captain's retirement continues a period of major change for the world's No.1 ranked team, who are expected to appoint a permanent replacement for former head coach Matthew Mott in the coming weeks, while captain Meg Lanning's future is unclear as she takes an indefinite break from the game.

Australia are also on the hunt for a new assistant coach to replace Ben Sawyer, who took over as New Zealand women's coach ahead of the Commonwealth Games, and if interim head coach Shelley Nitschke is successful at winning that role going forward, a second new assistant will be required.

Haynes' time at the top level is a tale of two halves; she took the field 63 times for Australia between 2009 and 2013 before losing her place in the national side.

Haynes hangs on to a blinder at short cover

Her return to the Australian squad was nothing short of remarkable; she was a last-minute addition to a New Zealand ODI touring party in early 2017 after injury struck Ellyse Perry and Alex Blackwell, and less than six months later she found herself filling in as captain during the World Cup as Australia desperately tried to manage Lanning's ruined right shoulder.

Haynes was then installed as interim skipper for the 2017 Ashes as Lanning recovered from shoulder surgery, and remained deputy following her return, as she concurrently cemented herself at the top of the one-day order alongside Alyssa Healy and crafted a crucial middle-order role for herself in the T20 side.

It was a comeback that almost didn't happen. In 2016, Haynes had contemplated retirement as she struggled to juggle state cricket commitments alongside work.

Quick Single: Pleasure and pains of Haynes' journey

Had Haynes opted for the other path when her career was at a crossroads six years ago, it is a safe assumption the fortunes of the Australian women's cricket team would also have been irrevocably altered.

Of her many contributions with bat in hand, perhaps the most significant was her World Cup-salvaging partnership with Lanning against Sri Lanka during the 2020 T20 World Cup.

Australia's hopes of making the semi-finals of their home tournament were hanging by a thread at 3-10, before the two captains came together in a 95-run stand, with Haynes striking 60 off just 47 balls.

Haynes celebrates second ODI ton as Aussies post huge total

Denied a Test century on debut when she was dismissed for 98, Haynes' long-awaited first international hundred came against Sri Lanka at Allan Border Field in 2019, and she added a second in New Zealand earlier this year with a superb 130 against England in the World Cup opener.

In the field, her highlights reel of classic catches is lengthy, while few opposition batters would dare take on her arm in pursuit of a sneaky single.

As a vice-captain, she provided the ying to Lanning's yang, creating one of world cricket's most formidable leadership pairings.

Haynes strokes brilliant maiden ODI hundred

Equally important have been Haynes' contributions off-field, particularly helping drive the women's team's efforts to educate themselves about, and celebrate, First Nations culture.

Haynes walks away from international cricket as the world's sixth-ranked ODI batter, having scored 2585 runs at 39.76 in the format.

Throughout her second stint in the Australian side, Haynes continually reached new heights with bat in hand; across that six-year period she averaged 45 in ODIs and 33 in T20Is, compared to 31 and 17 respectively during the first half of her international career.

Aussie women educate themselves on Indigenous culture

In April, she was named in the official World Cup team of the tournament after scoring 497 runs at 62 across nine matches, with only her opening partner Healy scoring more.

Her opportunities in the middle-order were more limited during Australia's triumphant four-game Commonwealth Games campaign but she finished unbeaten, with cameo of 18 off 10 against India in the gold medal match.

Haynes pulls down outfield screamer in Canberra

Australia will name a new vice-captain ahead of their next series, a five-game T20I tour of India in December, which will be followed by a home ODI and T20I series against Pakistan in January.

In February, Australia will play for a third-consecutive title when the 2023 T20 World Cup is staged in South Africa.

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