Haynes leapfrogs Blackwell to lead Australia in Ashes

Rachael Haynes will be unveiled on Wednesday as Australia's captain for the women's Ashes, which for the first time includes a day-night Test against England.

Surgery on an injured shoulder has forced Australia to take on the World Cup winners without their leader, Meg Lanning, in the multi-format series, which begins next month.

NSW batter Haynes, 30, has leapfrogged national vice-captain Alex Blackwell and will take charge in Lanning's absence, with the appointment of her replacement to be announced at Parliament House in Sydney on Wednesday.

In an unusual scenario Haynes was promoted from outside the Australian XI and handed the captaincy during the World Cup in the winter for the two games in the tournament that Lanning did not feature in.

That was despite the presence of Blackwell, Lanning's deputy and Haynes' captain at the NSW Breakers in the Australian batting line-up in England.

That bizarre development raised some eyebrows in cricket circles but the explanation out of the Australian camp is that Haynes is a similar captain in style to Lanning and the leadership transition would be smoother with her taking the reins.

Blackwell, 34, was told weeks before the World Cup that Haynes would be next cab off the rank in terms of the captaincy and despite harbouring her own Australian leadership ambitions she has been diplomatic when asked about the subject.

"Obviously, Meg is a huge loss, not only as a player but as a leader," Blackwell said this month.

"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.

"I would be honoured to hold any leadership role and do that job, whatever it is."

Blackwell was complimentary of how Haynes handed the Australian captaincy during the World Cup.

"I got to work alongside her as a vice-captain [for Australia] and, here at NSW, I have her leadership behind me," she said. "She handled that challenging opportunity really well and we got two wins under her captaincy."

Al-rounder Ellyse Perry, the vice-captain at NSW under Blackwell and captain of the Sydney Sixers in the Women's Big Bash League, was another potential candidate to stand in for Lanning.

The women's Ashes begins with three one-day internationals, the first in Brisbane on October 22 and a further two matches in Coffs Harbour.

The teams will then contest a pink-ball Test at North Sydney Oval from November 9 before rounding out the series with three Twenty20 internationals, the first in Sydney and two in Canberra.

The winner is decided via a points system, with four points awarded for a Test win and two for a draw, and two points for the limited-overs matches.

This story Haynes leapfrogs Blackwell to lead Australia in Ashes first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.