Alex Blackwell and Rachel Haynes    Getty Images
Alex Blackwell and Rachel Haynes Getty Images

The heat is on for The Ashes, not just for the men but for women as well. Australia, however, is in a state of a fix losing their leader Meg Lanning ahead of the tournament. Meg underwent shoulder injury that she picked during ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, ruling her out of The Ashes. With less than two months left for the tournament to flag off, Australia is on a hunt for a leader. But a confident vice-captain Alex Blackwell feels Australia has no shortage of potential leaders. Australia will begin The Ashes with the first ODI to be held in Brisbane on October 22.

Blackwell could likely lead the side in absence of the No. 1 ranked batter Lanning, “Obviously, Meg is a huge loss, not only as a player but as a leader. So the good thing in our Australian women’s team is we have got so many leaders to choose from to fill that role. I m very confident we’ll move ahead and perform well in this Ashes series coming up.” Blackwell comes with captaincy experience. She has captained the side 34 times across formats. If entrusted the opportunity, Blackwell would be honoured as she says.

“I’ve had the honour to be vice-captain for a very long time and also step up into the Australian captain role. I would be honoured to hold any leadership role and do that job, whatever it is, to the best of my ability as I always do,” added Blackwell.

However, selectors might have a different plan. When Meg did not participate in two matches of the World Cup due to injury, Rachel Haynes was appointed as the captain. Australia’s coach Matthew Mott explained the reason behind Rachel’s appointment, “We felt that Rachael was very similar in her style to Meg, and that leadership model was something that we wanted to keep together.”

Blackwell also backs Rachel’s appointment as the captain for The Ashes, “(Haynes) is a fantastic cricketer and we’ve seen her absent from the Australian squad for a few years. That’s rectified now, it’s great to see Rachel back in the squad. I got to work alongside her as a vice-captain (in the Women s World Cup). And we got two wins under her captaincy.”