Rachael Haynes will lead Sydney Thunder’s WBBL title defence after re-signing
Australian star Rachael Haynes will lead Sydney Thunder’s WBBL title defence after re-signing with the club for a further season.
“I just really enjoy playing for a club that stands for something and is aligned with the community in the way it is,” Haynes, who enters her third season as captain, said.
“I’m really excited to be around for another 12 months.”
Haynes, 34, has been at the Thunder since the beginning of WBBL and has been an integral part of two titles. The first in WBBL|01 then as captain for WBBL|06.
Last season’s success was made all the more significant by the unique situation of playing the entire tournament within a bio-secure ‘bubble’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was absolutely incredible to be a part of … an incredible achievement and I’m looking forward to building on that experience with this side,” she said.
“We’ve got a core group of players there, and I think the exciting thing for our team is that I don’t think anyone has reached their ceiling yet.
“I think we’ve got heaps of room for improvement and players are going to continue to get better.”
Haynes went to the top of the club’s WBBL run-scorers list last season passing the player she took over the captaincy from in 2019, Thunder great Alex Blackwell.
Blackwell, now Thunder’s WBBL list manager having been recently appointed to the position, said Haynes was a crucial signing given what she means to the club.
“Rachael is completely committed, and I think that’s what is quite inspiring to people around her,” said Blackwell.
“She continues to foster a really strong culture.
“All players, from my point of view, seem to be very clear on their role, are highly valued within the set up and are provided with opportunities to develop. That’s what I’ve seen Rachael do so well over the last couple of years.
“I was just so impressed with how she managed, not only herself and her own performances, but the group as a whole through what was a very challenging WBBL|06.”
Thunder is scheduled to begin their title defence against the Adelaide Strikers at North Sydney Oval on Saturday, October 16, before renewing their cross-town rivalry with the Sydney Sixers, the next day at the same venue.
For Haynes, to be back playing in front of the Thunder Nation this season, would be “really uplifting”.
“If we can get to the point at the start of WBBL, where we’ll be able to play in front of our home crowd and perhaps bring some joy to what at times has been a tough situation, it would be a fantastic way to hopefully come out the other side of what’s been a challenging 12 to 18 months at different times,” Haynes said.