Meg Lanning lifts lid on heartbreaking secret that led to her retiring from international cricket

The legendary Australian cricket captain says an 'unhealthy relationship' with food and exercise led to her international retirement.

Former Australian cricket captain Meg Lanning has revealed that "an unhealthy relationship" with exercise and food resulted in her shock retirement from international cricket. Lanning is a notoriously private person but recently revealed why she decided to end her international career last November.

The Victorian took an extended break from cricket in 2022 before returning to lead Australia to a Twenty20 World Cup title in February 2023 before suddenly pulling out of last year's Ashes for undisclosed medical reasons. Lanning revealed at the time she was grappling with an identity crisis outside of cricket that not even her teammates and closest friends knew about.

Pictured Meg Lanning
Meg Lanning revealed an 'unhealthy relationship' with food and exercise led to her retiring from international cricket. Image: Getty

Lanning said she was often eating two "not significant" meals a day despite running up to 90km a week. While she didn't want to label her limited food intake as an eating disorder she admitted she was in denial about needing help about it.

"It sort of just spiralled," Lanning said on The Howie Games podcast. "I was not in a place to be able to go on tour and play cricket and give the commitment levels required for that Ashes series, mentally and physically.


"I got down to about 57kgs from 64kgs. The ratios were out of whack a lot. It was just all out of whack and I kept sliding. At some point, it's got to stop.

"I felt very out of control in terms of what my future looked like: 'If it's not cricket, what does life look like if I am not playing?'."

Meg Lanning says she was barely sleeping

Lanning said her struggles with her image also impacted her sleep as she got herself into a vicious cycle. The former Australian captain said she was getting just a "couple of hours" a night and it impacted all facets of her life.

"I dreaded nighttime because I knew I would go to bed and not be able to sleep," she said, "That would make me so mad. I would just get more angry with myself. If you can't sleep, you can't do anything.''

Privately dealing with health challenges, Lanning was still able to perform on the field but felt she was unable to continue to regularly tour and lead Australia. "No matter what was happening, I was always able to perform," she said. "(But) it had become a bit of autopilot."

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 26: Meg Lanning of Australia holds the ICC Women's T20 World Cup alongside their winners medal following the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Final match between Australia and South Africa at Newlands Stadium on February 26, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)
Meg Lanning enjoyed a successful international cricket career, leading Australia to a record five T20 World Cup crowns.

Lanning has continued to play cricket in the Women's Big Bash League, the National Cricket League and the lucrative Women's Premier League in India but says she won't represent her country again. Lanning enjoyed a successful international cricket career, leading Australia to a record five T20 World Cup crowns after becoming Australia's youngest skipper in 2014, at the age of 21. The three-time Belinda Clark Medal winner scored 8352 runs from 241 international matches after debuting in T20s in 2010.

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with AAP