Head named South Australia captain
Emerging batsman Travis Head will become South Australia's youngest captain of all time after being handed the position following the resignation of Johan Botha. Head, 21, has been confirmed as the state's new captain as South Australia look to the future in much the same way Victoria did when a 20-year-old Cameron White was appointed in 2003-04.
Wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman, 27, has been named vice-captain in the change of leadership. Botha made the decision to stand aside after two and a half years in charge, having replaced Michael Klinger during the 2012 off-season following a stint with the Adelaide Strikers that impressed state coach Darren Berry.
"Johan has been working with the Redbacks to set up succession planning for the leadership of the team," SACA chief executive Keith Bradshaw said. "After considering the options during the Sheffield Shield break, he approached us to explain his position and propose a change of leadership.
"We began a commitment with Johan to strengthen our young squad and develop leadership opportunities; his influence on the playing group on and off the field has been outstanding."
South Australia confirmed that Botha, the Redbacks' leading Sheffield Shield wicket taker so far this summer with 13 victims, would stay on for the remainder of the season to assist with the transition to the new captain. The second half of the Sheffield Shield campaign begins on Saturday, with South Australia currently sitting in second-last position.
Head has impressed the South Australia hierarchy since his debut for the state at the age of 18, and he now has 27 first-class matches to his name. Although he is yet to break through for a maiden first-class century, Head has been close several times, with five scores in the nineties and 12 fifty-plus scores in total.
Head showed his leadership potential during the 2012-13 Under-19 National Championships when he led South Australia to the title and was named Player of the Championship. He was quickly identified as a future leader and has been part of the state's leadership development programme.
"Travis' appointment demonstrates a long-term focus for our young Redbacks team. This is a long term decision with long term success in mind," Bradshaw said. "Travis has demonstrated an ability to show resilience under pressure on the field in his short time paying for South Australia.
"Off-field, Travis is already well respected by the entire cricket community both in South Australia and around the country. We are excited to appoint a young, capable leader who we believe can achieve higher honours in his cricketing career."
Head's appointment is not the only change for the Redbacks in the second half of this season. Berry has taken leave from the role as coach due to family reasons and assistant coach Jeff Vaughan will take charge of the side in his absence.