With England suffering a bit of an injury crisis in Sri Lanka, Dani Hazell is the surprise choice as stand-in skipper, becoming the 22nd woman to captain England across all formats.
With Heather Knight (left hamstring) and Katherine Brunt(left thigh) ruled-out, coach Mark Robinson has turned to the Yorkshire off-spinner to lead the team.
It is an interesting choice – prior to this tour Hazell hadn’t played an ODI since South Africa back in February, missing the series against Pakistan and West Indies, though she played all 3 T20s in the summer; so this might be seen as partly a reward for loyalty over a period when she has had to spend a lot of time on the sidelines.
However, with 3 Super league captains – Georgia Elwiss, Nat Sciver and Lauren Winfield – in the team, might we not have expected one of them to be given the job? Perhaps, but by giving it to Hazell, Robinson effectively avoids a difficult choice which might have been seen to “anoint” a potential successor to Heather Knight in years to come, and left the other two thinking – why not me?
As we write, Hazell has taken her first captain’s wicket too – bowling opener Nipuni Hansika for 29 – you can follow the game here.