Gardner Takes Early Captaincy Role Leading the Sixers


Gardner Takes Early Captaincy Role Leading the Sixers

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Australia will witness a potential future national captain in the WBBL season opener as Ashleigh Gardner, cleared of a thumb injury, leads the Sydney Sixers. Long considered a potential leader for the Australian team, Gardner steps in as captain due to Ellyse Perry’s ban for slow over-rates. Despite a thumb injury scare, scans revealed no break, allowing Gardner to start against the Melbourne Stars.

Discussions about Australia’s future captaincy have been ongoing, especially since the retirement of Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning’s occasional absences. Alyssa Healy has led the team temporarily, while Tahlia McGrath, at 27, is seen as the next in line.

Gardner, at 26, emerges as another potential leader after serving as vice-captain to McGrath in Ireland this year. She captained a Governor-General’s XI in January and led an Indigenous women’s team on a tour of India in 2018. Appointed vice-captain of the Sixers last year, Gardner sees this opportunity as a learning experience, acknowledging the nerves but expressing confidence in backing herself and following her instincts.

If Gardner were to captain Australia in the future, she would be the first Indigenous man or woman to do so in cricket. While she hasn’t dwelled extensively on leadership aspirations, she recognizes the importance of leading and driving standards, particularly in the spin space. Gardner sees leadership as something that may naturally evolve, expressing readiness to embrace the opportunity if presented.


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