Thunder captain opts to stay with her family after the birth of her son, with border restrictions making it too difficult for her to join the team
Sydney Thunder captain Rachael Haynes has withdrawn from the entire WBBL due to a combination of injury, border closures, and parental leave, barring a change in quarantine arrangements for people leaving New South Wales.
Haynes suffered a hamstring injury during the third ODI between Australia and India in Mackay last month and was ruled out of the remainder of the series including the day-night Test and the three T20 internationals.
She returned to New South Wales to be with her partner Leah Poulton as she gave birth to their son Hugo. Haynes had always planned to miss the early part of the WBBL to be with her family, however, New South Wales residents still aren’t permitted to leave the state without doing 14 days hard hotel quarantine due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the state. Players from New South Wales and Victoria have had to do 14 days quarantine prior to the start of the tournament in Tasmania this week.
With the entire WBBL to be played in Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, and Queensland, Haynes has made the decision to miss the tournament unless there are changes to the fixture or the border conditions.
“I understand the schedule needed to be rejigged due to the ongoing border closures,” Haynes said. “However, the fact it means Sydney Thunder will be on the road for the entire duration of the WBBL – along with the mandatory 14 days in quarantine – left me with no alternative but to make myself unavailable.
“However, as I told the squad, I will be back if there are changes to the current border restrictions of the tournament structure.”
Haynes said she will continue to rehab her hamstring with the aim of being able to play later in the tournament in the unlikely event of the state borders opening up.
“As much as I want to be with the team, leaving Leah and Hugo at this stage for such a long period wouldn’t be fair on us as a family,” Haynes said. “I’ve spoken to all the players and staff, and they’ve been extremely supportive of my decision.
“It just shows that in matters of the heart, the heart wins. However, I am doing my hamstring rehabilitation with the intention that I can put myself forward to play, but it would be much later in the season and contingent on state borders opening up.”