21/04/2024

Rachel Priest will captain the Hobart Hurricanes in WBBL|07. (Photo: Hobart Hurricanes)

Though she now has the title of 'captain', Rachel Priest will still be leaning on the experience of her fellow veterans to bring the Hurricanes leadership to a new level in WBBL|07.

She may now have the title of captain, but the Hobart Hurricanes’ Rachel Priest sees herself as just one of many leaders in the squad.

The 36-year-old was announced as Corinne Hall’s successor on Friday, and is a natural fit for the role.

Priest is an ever-reliable wicketkeeper, who’s a force with bat in hand as well. After 354 runs in WBBL|06, she was named the side’s player of the tournament in her first season in purple.

The former New Zealand international fronts a pack of experienced campaigners including Nicola Carey, Mignon du Preez, and Molly Strano, who she says will do just as much leading as her.

“As a person… I’ll always help out whoever’s in charge,” Priest told media on Friday.

“To get the captain next to my name is really special. We’ve got a whole bunch of really good senior players, so I’ll definitely be leaning on them a lot.

“I’ll be asking them to help me through the season. I don’t think one person can make every single decision. It’s a collaboration with the staff and players as well.

“I love playing cricket because it’s a team game, and I love working with the other players. I’m looking forward to that side of it.”

The Hurricanes celebrate a wicket in WBBL|06. (Photo: Hobart Hurricanes)

With no shortage of teenage prodigies including leg spinner Amy Smith and fellow wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh, she’ll also be aiming to help pass down her accumulated knowledge across nearly two decades of top level cricket.

“I’m not getting any younger, I’ve played a lot of cricket and I have a lot of experience,” Priest said.

“I’ll try to pass that along to the players and the team.”

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Hurricanes coach Salliann Beams described Priest’s appointment as “one door closing, another one opening” after Hall’s departure.

“Between coaching staff and some of our key players, it was unanimous that we wanted Priesty to lead our team,” she said.

“She’s got great experience, she’s got great people skills. We’re excited to see how she goes.”

Priest is one of the international players in the team, and one of the few from outside Australia, playing in 87 ODIs and 75 T20s for New Zealand.

Outside of new teammate du Preez, she’s one of the most well-capped internationals in the league.

Though Priest retired from international level in 2020, Beams believes that she’ll carry that top flight knowledge into leading the Hurricanes for the upcoming season.

“She’s played against and come up with the best in the world, so she knows how to handle herself,” Beams said.

“Being able to adapt and share that knowledge… she doesn’t get phased. That’s the key thing I really like about her, I think she’s going to bring great calmness to the dressing rooms.

“If you look at Priesty’s performances in the last year for the Hurricanes, but most importantly in domestic competitions around the world, she gets up for the most important games.

“What we need when we get into winning positions is to get experienced players getting us over the line.”

The Hurricanes begin their WBBL|07 season against the Melbourne Renegades at Blundstone Arena on Saturday, October 16.

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