Emotional Meg Lanning retires from international cricket

Australian women's cricket captain Meg Lanning has announced her international retirement.

Australian women's cricket captain Meg Lanning has announced her international retirement. Photo: AAP

Australia women’s captain Meg Lanning has retired from international cricket, bringing an end to one of the all-time great careers.

The 31-year-old will continue playing in the WBBL and the Women’s National Cricket League, and possibly the Women’s Premier League in India, but has decided against playing for Australia again.

An emotional Lanning revealed her decision on Thursday, crying as she paid credit to her parents.

“I wanted to say how lucky and privileged I’ve been to be able to represent Australia and play the game that I love for so long,” she said.

“I grew up wanting to represent Australia… to be able to do it for 13 years has been an incredible opportunity for me, and I’m very thankful.

“I’m sad that it’s finishing up, but I’m very much ready for something new and it’s time to move on.”

Lanning took an indefinite break from cricket earlier this year following Australia’s gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, returning for the home series against Pakistan in January. She said her decision to retire happened only in recent days.

“I can’t be half in or half out with anything, and I guess that’s where I’ve landed … I no longer have the spark or motivation to do what needs to happen at this level,” she said.

“The last few days happened pretty quick … but it’s probably something I’d been thinking about for a while. I tried to make it work. I’m excited for something new and something different.”

Lanning, a seven-time World Cup winner and three-time Belinda Clark medallist amassed 8,352 runs from 241 international matches after debuting in T20s in 2010.

In just her second ODI, Lanning became the youngest Australian to score an international century when she hit an unbeaten 104 against England aged 18.

Lanning was appointed as captain of her country in 2014, becoming Australia’s youngest skipper at just 21 years of age.

The Victorian led Australia in 182 matches, more than any other women’s player, and captained the team to five World Cup crowns.

In what turned out to be her final international match, Lanning led Australia to the 2023 T20 World Cup title against South Africa in February.

After missing the Ashes in England earlier this year over health concerns, Lanning is back playing for the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL.

She will continue to play domestic cricket.

Lanning’s crowning achievement came in the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia as the hosts lifted the trophy in front of 86,174 fans at the MCG just days before the COVID-19 pandemic ensured fans could not attend live sport for an extended period.

“One of the finest cricketers Australia has produced, Meg’s supreme achievements with the bat have been matched by her inspiring leadership,” Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said.

“As one of the best players in the world over a long period of time, Meg has made an immeasurable impact and led a generation which has helped revolutionise the game.

“Under Meg’s leadership, the Australian women’s cricket team has built a legacy of global dominance and has been at the forefront of growing the game and inspiring the next generation of cricketers all around the world.”

Lanning will be back in action on Friday when her Stars face the red-hot Sydney Thunder in a WBBL match at the North Sydney Oval. As for what comes next, that remains up in the air.

“I haven’t thought about that – not at this stage. I don’t really know what the future holds, but I’m open to trying new things and see where it all lands,” Lanning said.

“[I’ll] enjoy the bit of freedom I have now. Excitement, scary too. There is so much structure in cricket.”

– with AAP

Topics: cricket
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