WBBL 2022-23 – No grand farewell, but Sydney Thunder’s Rachael Haynes leaves an outstanding legacy
Watched by her family, her team-mates had allowed her to run on first when their fielding stint began and Adelaide Strikers applauded her as she came into bat with Foo Fighters’ My Hero playing around the ground.
“I try to just embrace it, but it isn’t something that sits that comfortably with me to be honest,” Haynes said of her farewell. “I’ve probably spent most of my career trying to avoid the limelight. But really appreciate all the effort and really grateful for the players sending me off, it’s very kind of them.”
“I’ve always just tried to do the right thing by people, the right thing by the programmes I’ve been part of and tried to prepare the best I could and set a good example for others around me,” she said. “When you are doing all those things you are probably a bit oblivious to the impact it’s having, but there’s been quite a few people who have reached out this week and said, ‘good luck, well done’, and it’s definitely meant a lot to me.
“Everyone wants to succeed and do well, but what binds groups together and brings them back together is the success you share on field. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to experience that both domestically and internationally.”
“It’s an interesting one,” she said. “I clearly didn’t have the season I’ve had in the past. I suppose [upon] reflecting [that] you just lose a bit of that competitive edge and it’s something I’ve never had to be consciously aware of in the past, I’ve always just been up and 100% on it, and I reckon this year there were probably times when I wasn’t at that same edge that you need to have at this level.”
“I had mixed emotions coming into the ground today,” she said. “It’s strange, I announced it six weeks ago now and towards the end of this week when it was starting to become a bit more real, I definitely noticed myself going through different waves of emotion and being a bit teary. By the same the token I know I’m ready to walk away. But walking away from something that’s been such a big part of my life for a long time is also challenging.”
She has yet to decide what comes next. There will be some WBBL commentary during finals week and then she will take the rest of the year off. But if she so chooses, Haynes has plenty more to offer cricket.