Lanning to return with Victoria this week

Meg Lanning's five-month absence from cricket will come to an end when she lines up for Victoria in two 50-over matches this week ahead of her return to the national side.

The Australian captain has not played since the Commonwealth Games in August, opting to miss the WBBL and the T20I tour of India to focus on herself after a hectic 12 months of international cricket.

Lanning, 30, was considered a chance to retire from cricket altogether but announced in December she would return ahead of the upcoming home white-ball series against Pakistan.

Lanning usually captains Victoria but Nicole Faltum, who replaced injured back-up captain Sophie Molineux, will continue to lead the WNCL side for 50-over clashes with NSW at Junction Oval on Thursday and Saturday.

Thursday's match also marks the return of Georgia Wareham, who is set to play her first game of cricket since rupturing her ACL in the 2021 iteration of the WBBL.

The 23-year-old spinner looks to have given herself enough time to make a case for selection at the T20 World Cup, to be played in South Africa next month.

The two matches against NSW will be the last chance for Victoria's Ellyse Perry, Kim Garth and Annabel Sutherland to limber up before Australia's series against Pakistan begins on January 16.

"It's going to be fantastic to have both Meg and Georgia back on the field for Victoria, especially against NSW in a match that will have a so much international experience," said Cricket Victoria's head of female cricket Sharelle McMahon.

"It's always exciting to have our Australian players represent Victoria, we're fortunate to have them around the group for these matches as they prepare to take on Pakistan."

VICTORIA SQUAD: Nicole Faltum (c), Tiana Atkinson, Sam Bates, Sophie Day, Tess Flintoff, Kim Garth, Olivia Henry, Meg Lanning, Rhiann O'Donnell, Ellyse Perry, Sophie Reid, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham.

NSW SQUAD: Erin Burns, Lauren Cheatle, Hannah Darlington, Jessica Davidson, Saskia Horley, Ebony Hoskin, Sammy-Jo Johnson (c), Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Sophie Luff, Shivani Mehta, Lauren Smith, Tahlia Wilson.