Cricket: Jess Jonassen would be ‘honoured’ to captain Australia

Star all-rounder Jess Jonassen would welcome the “honour” of captaining Australia despite admitting it’s a challenging period for the national women’s cricket team following the departures of long-time leadership pair Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes.

While Jonassen’s immediate task is leading the Brisbane Heat in their WBBL campaign starting on Thursday night in Mackay against the Sydney Sixers, she also remains a huge part of a dominant Australian side that is experiencing a changing of the guard.

It started with long-time coach Matthew Mott’s defection to the England men’s program in May and followed with skipper Lanning’s decision to take an extended break from the sport and the retirement of vice-captain Haynes from the international arena.

“It’s a little bit nerve-racking because you’ve got two incredible leaders (Lanning and Haynes) that aren’t part of the team at the moment,” Jonassen said.

“What they brought to the team is irreplaceable, but there are ways that other players can step up to be able to fill part of the void that they left.”

That includes the leadership “void”.

“It (the captaincy) is a massive role and some big shoes to fill for whoever it is,” Jonassen said.

“There’s a number of people that will be able to step up and do a job if they’re called upon. There are some really good candidates out there.”

They include former Heat star Beth Mooney, 32-year-old wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy and Ash Gardner, as well as Jonassen, one of world women’s cricket finest bowling all-rounders.

“I’ve tried to take on a bit of a leadership role over the last few years with the spinning group,” she said.

“I won’t necessarily need to the have the letter C next to my name or to be labelled as the captain or the vice-captain to feel like I can have a role to play from a leadership point of view, but if I was considered for it or given the nod for it, it would be a huge honour and a huge privilege and something that I’d have to seriously think about.”

Jonassen, who turns 30 next month, said while player burnout was an issue in women’s cricket, she had plenty she still wanted to achieve before retiring.

“I always want to try to do better. Being a girl from the country, I want to continue to be a role medal for the girls up there,” the Emerald-born, Rockhampton-raised Jonassen said.

“Over the next few years, we’ve got the potential to be able to pay a Test match in India.

“I’ve only played Test matches against England in my whole career. As a spin bowler, to be able to have that opportunity to play Test match cricket in India, that’s something that’s really driving me.”

Read related topics:Brisbane

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *