Lanning set new standard for women's cricket: Blackwell

Former teammate Alex Blackwell has heaped praise on Meg Lanning for changing the face of women's cricket in Australia.

Long-time captain Lanning announced her international retirement on Thursday after 241 international matches across all three formats, seven World Cup triumphs and almost a decade as captain.

She walks away with the best average - 53.51 - in women's one-day internationals for players who have made 25 or more appearances.

Meg Lanning at her retirement press conference.
An emotional Meg Lanning called time on her peerless international career on Thursday.

The 31-year-old batter will continue to play domestic cricket, including for the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL.

Lanning missed the Ashes with an undisclosed medical issue, shortly after returning from mental-health leave taken for the back half of 2022.

But her international retirement was still met with some surprise, as well as overwhelming recognition for her contribution to the game.

"I was really shocked," said Blackwell, Australia's captain when Lanning made her international debut in 2010.

"But then when I take a bit of time to think about it, I read somewhere she's played for 13 years for the Australian team.

"She has inspired so many people and there wasn't much left to achieve. She's done it all. She's been an incredible inspiration.

Alex Blackwell (left).
Former Australia captain Alex Blackwell (left) has sung the praises of the retiring Meg Lanning.

"She set a new standard for the game. From a captaincy point of view, to lead Australia to so many titles, it is a remarkable career.

"I hope she plays a lot of cricket still, there's amazing opportunities out there to play very, very high-level cricket.

"I don't know what is on her mind about the next chapter but it's been an epic contribution and no doubt she'll be celebrated to a level that's appropriate to what she's achieved."

Heather Knight, Lanning's rival captain in the 2022 Ashes, joined Blackwell in hoping the star batter's career was not yet over.

"I would love to see her in (England's domestic competition) The Hundred if she wants to come over. But we'll see. That's up to her," the England skipper said.

"We've had some really amazing battles over the years.

"She's a super-tough competitor. I have a lot respect for what she's done in terms of her captaincy, her leadership and as a batter."