WBBL: Teenage pacer Hannah Darlington named captain of Sydney Thunder

Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) defending champions Sydney Thunder have named teenage Australian pacer Hannah Darlington as the captain for the seventh season of the league. Darlington will captain the team in place of regular skipper Rachael Haynes, who will not be joining the team after the birth of her son Hugo, and other factors like border closures and 14 days of quarantine.

“I’ve been part of this club for nearly five years now and supported it all the way through, so to have the opportunity to step in for Rach is pretty special and I’m ready to lead a team that I’m really passionate about,” Hannah said in a statement by the franchise on Thursday.

At 19 years and 262 days, Hannah becomes the youngest skipper in the history of the tournament, surpassing current Melbourne Renegades captain Sophie Molineux and Australia skipper Meg Lanning, who captained Melbourne Stars in the inaugural season of the tournament. The appointment as captain continues Hannah’s good time in cricket after making her ODI and T20I debuts in the recent multi-format series against India.

Sydney Thunder coach Trevor Griffin said Darlington was the ‘natural choice’ to replace Haynes as captain. “Hannah is somebody who is passionate about the Thunder Nation, and she’s shown leadership qualities over the last two seasons and was just a natural choice. She’s somebody that the team hold in high regard, and she goes out onto the field with real passion in her heart and lives and breathes our culture.”

Sydney Thunder’s title defence begins on October 16 against the Adelaide Strikers at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.