Six-time world champion Rachael Haynes is the first Australian luminary to be snapped up as part of India’s potentially game-changing Women’s Premier League after being appointed head coach of the Gujarat Giants.
The former national team vice-captain, who retired as a player last year after a distinguished career, has been tasked with overseeing the Ahmedabad-based franchise in the new league set to kick off in March.
It’s a big step up for the 36-year-old, who explained after retiring that she still hoped to remain involved in the sport.
Haynes scored 383 runs in Tests, 2,585 in ODIs, and 850 in T20Is for a total of 3,818 runs for her country.
She will begin her first international head coaching job with a strong group of assistants headlined by Gavan Twining, the New South Wales Breakers coach who Haynes has previously worked alongside.
Bowling coach Nooshin Al Khadeer also joins the team fresh from guiding India to the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa, while Tushar Arothe, a former Indian national women’s team coach, will look after Gujarat’s batters.
Mithali Raj, already on board as the team’s mentor and advisor, said: “The likes of Rachael Haynes, Nooshin Al Khadeer, Tushar Arothe, and Gavan Twining will certainly take the performance of the team notches up.
“Not only have they carved a niche for themselves in their roles, but their stories of resilience will also be an inspiration for the team.”
The WPL is set to begin on March 4, running for three weeks between the end of the Women’s T20 World Cup and the start of the men’s IPL competition. Viacom18 recently bought the rights for the first five years of the competition for $170m.
The hype surrounding the inaugural WPL will reach fever-pitch later this month when the player auction takes place, with each franchise having a purse of approximately $2.11 million.
Players from the all-conquering Australian team will doubtless be in the highest demand for the 22-match tournament, with each side able to buy seven players from overseas.
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