South Australian cricket will have a new-look leadership group for the 2023/24 season, with new captains and vice-captains announced for both the West End Redbacks and SA Scorpions.
While Travis Head remains State captain, due to his national commitments Jake Lehmann will stand in as captain again this year, with support from Nathan McSweeney who has become the team’s vice-captain for the first time.
Jemma Barsby will lead the Scorpions for the whole season in 2023/24, with Scorpions veteran Bridget Patterson named her vice-captain.
With Tahlia McGrath and Megan Schutt regularly away from the State program due to their national commitments, the new leaders have been named with all Australian players still playing a pivotal role in the leadership and direction in the background.
Both Lehmann and Barsby have leadership experience, with Lehmann stepping up as Redbacks captain halfway through last season, while Barsby has been acting captain for the Scorpions many times in the last few years.
Lehmann and his father Darren are the first father/son duo to captain South Australia, with Darren captaining the side 59 times in Shield cricket and in 51 One Day matches.
“It’s a proud moment to captain South Australia,” Lehmann said.
“As a group, we’re looking to improve and get the best out of each other and hopefully go one better in the One Dayers and get a few more wins in Shield cricket.
“Nathan has captained the last two Aussie A games in four-day cricket and he’s been working with (Adam) Voges and (Tim) Paine who have helped him a lot in that space, so it’s exciting for him to take that next step and no doubt he will support me well.”
Barsby said it was exciting for the captaincy to now be official.
“I’m pretty humbled to be chosen out of this group of girls to be able to lead the South Australian program,” Barsby said.
“What Megan and Tahlia have done in this role has been unbelievable, so I know I have some big shoes to fill.
“But I will try to lead the way, I will go out there and trust my instincts and my gut – I’ve got full faith in the girls, so hopefully we can continue to get better and continue to develop as players and people as well.”
The WNCL season gets underway this Friday at Karen Rolton Oval, with the Scorpions taking on ACT beginning at 10am.
For the Redbacks, the Marsh Cup begins on Tuesday, September 26 in Queensland, while the Sheffield Shield season will start on Tuesday, October 3 at home with a match against Tasmania at Karen Rolton Oval.