Sydney Thunder captain Rachael Haynes still basking in Commonwealth Games’ golden glow

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Haynes, 35, then returns home to play for the NSW Breakers in the Women’s National Cricket League next month before leading the Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League from mid-October. Tickets go on sale for the WBBL and BBL on Friday.

She missed last season’s BBL through a mixture of injury, COVID border closures and becoming a parent for the first time, circumstances Haynes now regards as a blessing.

Thunder captain Rachael Haynes celebrates with teammate Heather Knight after winning the BBL Final in 2020.

Thunder captain Rachael Haynes celebrates with teammate Heather Knight after winning the BBL Final in 2020.Credit:Getty Images

“It was easily the best experience of my life, staying home and being there for the birth of Hugo,” she said. “It was just one of those scenarios at the time where Australia was as a country. At that point, it was just not possible to leave and rejoin the team [due to border closures and state regulations]. It was tough on that side of things, but I don’t regret that period at all.”

With a long-overdue women’s Indian Premier League set to begin next season, female cricketers will have a fully-fledged professional circuit for the first time in India, Australia (with the WBBL) and England (with The Hundred) to compliment international cricket.

“It’s exciting for the women’s game that we’re starting to see more of those domestic tournaments,” Haynes said. “It’s a viable career option for people to be able to go around and play on that circuit.

“It’s really important for the growth of the game, domestically in those countries to make sure those playing opportunities are there.”

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