Healy wants to lead Australia through transition period
Scott Bailey |
Alyssa Healy has declared she wants to help lead Australia through a period of transition after Meg Lanning’s retirement from international cricket.
Healy is considered the front-runner to take over from Lanning as Australia’s captain, with selectors to name a squad for the looming tour of India this week.
The wicketkeeper is currently on the mend from a finger injury after a dog bite, but is expecting to be fit for the Mumbai Test against India on December 21.
Healy admitted sadness on seeing an emotional Lanning decide to walk away on Thursday, after 10 years as Australia’s captain.
The 33-year-old Healy has captained recent tours, including a T20 series last year in India and this year’s Ashes while Lanning was out for personal and medical reasons respectively.
But leading on a full-time basis would be a significant shift for Healy, who would no longer feel as if she was filling someone else’s shoes on limited preparation.
“I’ve had a nice little taste of it. And yes, 100 per cent I would put my name up to do it again if called upon,” Healy said.
“I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself, but also probably learned a lot about our group and potentially what we need to do to continue to evolve.
“But that’s for somebody else to decide (who captains) and if it is somebody else, I’ll happily support them in the role as best as I can for the rest of my career.”
If not Healy, Tahlia McGrath would likely be next in line to take charge.
The next leader is likely to take a crucial role in the direction of the side, with Lanning’s exit following former vice-captain Rachael Haynes’ departure last year.
Healy and Ellyse Perry are also both aged 33, while Jess Jonassen and Megan Schutt are both 30 after having been part of Australia’s long-term success.
Australia have an overflowing list of rising stars, but India and England have shown signs of closing the gap in recent years.
“It is really exciting,” Healy said.
“I feel like that my role as the oldest player in the group at the moment is trying to nurture this next generation of players.
“Just encouraging them to go out and play this amazing style of cricket that’s bred within them. So yeah, it is really exciting.
“Hopefully we can just play that way and keep showing people that we want to keep taking the game to another level. I think that’s really important.”
Healy said while she was saddened by Lanning’s retirement, she was proud of her close friend for making a “brave” decision to walk away.
“I’ve been privileged enough to play alongside some of the players that are going to go down as the greatest ever,” Healy said.
“But the way Meg stands out is her leadership and her captaincy.
“Yes, throughout a changing period (for the women’s game), but just the success rate that she had as a skipper, and the amount of wins and trophies we won.
“Her legacy as a leader within Australian cricket will be remembered for a lot longer than her amazing skills.”AAP