Sydney [Australia], February 1 (ANI): Lisa Keightley, a former Australian player and well-known coach, has been hired by Sydney Thunder to coach their Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) team for the upcoming three seasons.
Since her playing career ended in 2005, Keightley has made history by becoming the first woman to coach the national teams of Australia and England. She has also served as head coach of NSW, Western Australia, and the Perth Scorchers, who she led on two finals in the WBBL.
Keightley chose not to extend her contract with England past the month of August of last year, despite leading their women's team to the ODI World Cup final in 2022.
Currently serving as the tactical performance coach for the domestic T20 team Paarl Royals in South Africa, the former right-handed batter has played in 92 international matches.
She will now replace Trevor Griffin, who left the club last month and join a Thunder team that hasn't advanced past the semifinals since their WBBL, season six triumph.
"I know Sydney Thunder has a good history and has won two titles. There's also a good group of players who have enjoyed success. When I say it's a challenge, it's in the sense of the team having a couple of seasons where they'd want to be. I'll be making sure we're competitive and winning cricket games. Thunder has a core of players who have played for a number of years and have enjoyed success. I'm hoping it won't take too much," Keightley said as quoted by cricket.com.au.
The 51-year-old, who is regarded as a legend of both Australian and NSW cricket, expressed her excitement to support the growth of the Thunder's rising players, including Phoebe Litchfield and Hannah Darlington.
"Hannah Darlington has had success, as has Phoebe Litchfield. Tahlia Wilson has been playing in (the NSW WNCL team) consistently over the years, and she'll be looking to improve and have an impact. I look at other players and see Sammy-Jo Johnson as a seasoned campaigner who is probably a little disappointed in how she played this year. However, she's had success in the past, so I can see no reason why that can't be turned around. Then you have the likes of Lauren Smith, another player who has played for a number of years and had success throughout the WBBL. It's a matter of some overseas players being in and around the quality that we've got, and then playing some consistent cricket," Keightley said. (ANI)