Alyssa Healy says she wants to help Australia through a period of transition following Meg Lanning’s retirement from international cricket.
- Alyssa Healy has been Australia’s stand-in cricket captain – now she wants to take on the role more permanently.
- Lanning announced his retirement from international cricket this week, after having several injury breaks and personal leave.
- The Australian team will depart next month for a tour of India which will begin with a day-night Test in Mumbai.
Healy is considered the favorite to succeed Lanning as Australia captain, with selectors expected to name a squad for the impending tour of India this week.
The wicketkeeper is currently recovering from a finger injury following a dog bite, but is expected to be fit for the Mumbai Test against India on December 21.
Healy admitted his sadness at seeing an emotional Lanning decide to step away on Thursday, after 10 years as Australia captain.
Healy, 33, has captained recent tours including a T20 series last year in India and Ashes this year, while Lanning was absent for personal and medical reasons respectively.
But leading full time would represent a significant change for Healy, who would no longer feel like he was replacing someone else with limited preparation.
“I had a nice little taste of it. And yes, 100 percent I would put my name in to do it again if asked,” Healy said.
“I feel like I learned a lot about myself, but also probably a lot about our group and potentially what we need to do to continue to evolve.
“But it’s for someone else to decide (who will be captain) and if it’s someone else, I’ll be happy to support them in that role as best I can for the rest of my career.”
If it wasn’t Healy, Tahlia McGrath would probably be next in line to take charge.
The next leader is likely to play a crucial role in leading the team, with Lanning leaving following the departure of former vice-captain Rachael Haynes last year.
Healy and Ellyse Perry are also 33, while Jess Jonassen and Megan Schutt are both 30 after being part of Australia’s long-term success.
Australia have a roster brimming with rising stars, but India and England have shown signs of closing the gap in recent years.
“It’s really exciting,” Healy said.
“I feel like my role as the oldest player in the group right now is to try and nurture that next generation of players.
“I just encourage them to go out and play this amazing style of cricket that has been born in them. So yeah, it’s really exciting.
“I hope we can play this way and continue to show people that we want to continue to take the game to another level. I think that’s really important.”
Healy said that while she was saddened by Lanning’s retirement, she was proud of her close friend for making the “brave” decision to walk away.
“I had the privilege of playing alongside some of the players who will go down as the best of all time,” Healy said.
“But what sets Meg apart is her leadership and captaincy.
“Yes, throughout a changing period (for women’s football), but just the success rate she had as captain, and the number of wins and trophies we won.
“His legacy as a leader in Australian cricket will be remembered far longer than his incredible skills.”
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