Former Australian cricket captain Meg Lanning will take an indefinite break from the WBBL, less than two weeks after announcing her retirement from international cricket. Lanning was a notable absentee for the Melbourne Stars' 15-run win over Brisbane on Sunday, with the 31-year-old missing the game due to personal reasons.
With only two games remaining in the competition and the Stars certain to miss the finals, Lanning's immediate future is a mystery. "She's taking a few days out for some personal reasons," Stars coach Jonathan Batty told the Seven Network.
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"We're reassured she's all OK, which is the most important thing, but we're giving her that time and space and respecting her privacy in what she needs to do. We're taking it on a game-by-game basis at the moment and we'll give her all the time she needs to make that decision but she's definitely out for the next couple of games."
A fortnight ago Lanning announced she was stepping down from the Australian side but would continue in the WBBL and the Women's National Cricket League. However, Sunday's omission from the Stars team may indicate that her stance has changed.
Lanning is a legend of Australian cricket, with a staggering seven World Cup triumphs in multiple formats and is also a three-time winner of the Belinda Clark Medal - awarded to the nation's best female cricketer. In her Australian career she has amassed 8352 runs from 241 international matches in an extraordinary career for the green and gold.
She led Australia in 182 matches, more than any other women's player, and captained the team to five World Cup crowns. Lanning also recently surpassed the 3000 run mark in the WBBL and is only the fifth woman to do so. The legendary batter's decision to take a break from cricket has sparked an outpouring of support from around the cricket world.
This is so sad. Even when she announced her intl' retirement people were saying that she would still be playing domestic, I really don't think that she is going to be. As you say, I hope she has got a good support network and she takes the time to do whatever she has to do.
— Adele Mitchell (I stand with 🇺🇦) (@adelemitch) November 19, 2023
“Let’s respect Meg’s privacy”
“Meg’s health is all that matters”
Andy, to the stand-in captain,
“Can you tell us any more about Meg”
Seriously guys, give Meg Lanning some space.
— Colin 🕯 (@ColinThomas1951) November 19, 2023
I hope Meg exorcises her demons and finds her happy space. Meg will always be one of the greatest players ever to have played cricket.
Sending virtual hugs her way.
— FantaPants 🇺🇦 💉💉💉💉 (@MsPlodster) November 19, 2023
Love you Megastar ❤️
— Mae Connelly 🌾 ❤️💙 (@GrainsMae) November 19, 2023
— PouLaMi (Lanning's version) 🧑💻 (@Crictopher17) November 19, 2023
Meg Lanning says she has lost the hunger to compete
Lanning has taken numerous breaks from cricket during the last two years, and earlier this month she announced she was ending her Australian career, saying she had lost the hunger to perform at the international level.
"The decision to step away from international cricket was a difficult one to make, but I feel now is the right time for me," Lanning said. "I've been incredibly fortunate to enjoy a 13-year international career, but I know now is the right time for me to move on to something new.
"Team success is why you play the game, I'm proud of what I have been able to achieve and will cherish the moments shared with teammates along the way. I’d like to thank my family, my teammates, Cricket Victoria, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association for their support to allow me to play the game I love at the highest level. I also want to say a huge thank you to all the fans who have supported me throughout my international career.”
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