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Jonassen open to filling Australia captaincy void

It is uncertain whether Meg Lanning will to the role after her break from the game

Jess Jonassen will captain Brisbane Heat in the WBBL  •  Getty Images

Jess Jonassen will captain Brisbane Heat in the WBBL  •  Getty Images

Long-serving spinner Jess Jonassen says it would be "a huge honour" if she was to become the next captain of the Australian team.
There is a potential leadership void in the Australian side with the recent international retirement of Rachael Haynes and current captain Meg Lanning taking an indefinite break from the game.
Jonassen, who turns 30 next month, has been an integral member of the team for a decade and played a crucial role in the side's most recent ODI World Cup, T20 World Cup and Commonwealth Games triumphs with her left-arm orthodox spinners.
"It would be a massive role and some big shoes to fill for whoever it is," Jonassen, the Brisbane Heat captain, of the Australian role ahead of her team's WBBL opener against Sydney Sixers in Mackay on Thursday. "I have tried to take on a leadership role the last couple of years with the spinning group. If I was considered for [the captaincy] or given the nod for it then it would be a huge honour and a huge privilege.
"It would be something I would seriously have to think about. There are some really good candidates like Tahlia McGrath, and Alyssa Healy has put her hand up as well."
Queensland captain Jonassen said the domestic competition in Australia had exposed a lot of young players to high-pressure situations early, which had facilitated the next generation of leaders.
NSW skipper Healy remains the favourite for the national captaincy if it comes up, while South Australia counterpart McGrath is another option.
Jonassen said it was still "a little bit nerve-wracking" not having Lanning and Haynes as part of the national side.
"What they brought to the team is irreplaceable but there are ways other players can step up and fill part of the void they have left," she said. "Meg has achieved a significant amount in the game and took on the captaincy when she was 21. Having to do that role for the length of time she has, and then through Covid, it has been tough on everybody.
"We have been fortunate enough to be so successful over her whole tenure as captain. Sometimes people do need a break, and that's okay."
The passion to play at the highest level still burns within Jonassen.
"Being a girl from the country I want to continue to be a role model for the girls up there, that it doesn't matter where you come from you can still succeed on the big stage," she said.
"The future tours program came out recently and we have the potential to play a Test match against India in India. I've only played Test matches against England my whole career and as a spin bowler to have that opportunity to play Test match cricket in India is something that is really driving me."