Former Australian vice-captain Rachael Haynes has been appointed head coach of the Adani Sportsline’s Gujarat Giants for the upcoming Women’s Premier League in India.
On Friday evening, the 36-year-old was unveiled as the Ahmedabad-based franchise’s inaugural head coach, joining bowling coach Nooshin Al Khadeer, batting coach Tushar Arothe and fielding coach Gavan Twining. Former Indian batter Mithali Raj previously signed on as the team’s mentor and advisor.
Twining, the current New South Wales Breakers coach, has already worked alongside Haynes in the WNCL.
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“The likes of Rachael Haynes, Nooshin Al Khadeer, Tushar Arothe, and Gavan Twining will certainly take the performance of the team notches up,” Raj said in a statement.
“Not only have they carved a niche for themselves in their roles, but their stories of resilience will be an inspiration for the team.
“Their combined strengths will enable Adani Sportsline’s Gujarat Giants to give their best performance on the ground at the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League, which will inspire several aspiring women athletes.”
The WPL is expected to be played in March following the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa and before the Indian Premier League. Five teams will compete in the inaugural tournament, which is set to run for approximately three weeks, with an auction taking place later this month.
Haynes, who has no prior coaching experience at an official capacity, announced her retirement from international cricket in September, wrapping up her playing career during last year’s Women’s Big Bash League.
Following her retirement, the four-time T20 World Cup champion has served as a commentator for Fox Cricket.
“There’s no doubt I’ll need to transition into a bit more of a traditional workforce,” Haynes told foxsports.com.au earlier this summer.
“I’ve certainly got a passion for the sport, and just for sport in general, so I’d love to continue to be involved in an off-field capacity.
“There’s certainly aspects of (playing cricket) that I’ll miss, but by the same token, I’m really looking forward to what the future has in store, and what that might look like.”
Last month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India revealed it had earned AU$806 million from the winning bids for the inaugural WPL tournament’s five teams, with the Gujarat Giants purchased by Adani Group for $222 million. It came after the BCCI announced a windfall of $164 million as Viacom18 won the media rights for the first five seasons of the competition.
“When I was growing up … it was really hard to know some of these players who were playing the game, and you literally had to go to watch to see these girls playing cricket,” Haynes said.
“These days, it’s so much more visible. It’s on free-to-air TV, obviously social media is around now. Players themselves are a lot more accessible.
“That’s been the biggest difference — now there’s role models, not just in the men’s game, but in the women’s game too.
“We’re seeing that play out in terms of young boys and girls coming and watching the women’s game.”
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