“It’s all sounding very exciting for The Hundred,” says Meg Lanning

Megastar Meg Lanning, in an exclusive interview with Sportstar, spoke about the need for domestic cricket post the pandemic situation, Australia’s world cup preparations, her expectations from The Hundred, and also about continuing the world record winning streak in the ODIs.

 

Meg Lanning. Pic Credits
Meg Lanning. Pic Credits

 

Meg Lanning’s combative approach led to Australia winning 24 consecutive ODIs, a world record. One of all the respected sports ambassadors from this planet of active athletes, Lanning has been the face of a women’s team that mimics male-dominated rule since the new millennium.

The record for most consecutive ODI victories was previously held by Lanning’s idol – Ricky Ponting’s Australia 11. He had led his side to 21 consecutive victories in ODIs way back in 2003. The record was leveled by Lanning’s team in October 2020 and then crossed over to create a new record during their recently concluded Rose Bowl series against New Zealand.

 

Australian women's cricket team lifting World Cup Trophy for the 6th Time
Australian women’s cricket team lifting World Cup Trophy for the 6th Time. PC: AusWomenCricket / Twitter

 

When Lanning was asked about her conversation with Ponting pertaining to the record-breaking victory, she said that she hadn’t spoken to him personally, but was aware that he had shared his thoughts with the media before the record-breaking match.

“For us, it’s an interesting record because we play a lot of T20 games in between the ODIs so we can get quite lost sometimes. The media let us know it was happening. After the series, we sat down and reflected on the achievement. It reflects on the consistency of the side and our performances. A lot of people have put in a lot of hard work along the way, besides the players involved on the field. Looking back, we’ll certainly be proud of that achievement,” she said to Sportstar.

Lanning is on the trail of the Australian side currently sitting at the top of the ODIs and T20Is ranking. Women’s cricket, however, is way more of a ‘global community’ effort than men’s alternative. Talking about the same, she said – “Women’s cricket is competitive but we do go about it differently when compared to the men’s game, which is fine. I think there’s a fine balance. Countries around the world getting stronger and this effort to facilitate that is important for women’s cricket to move forward. At the moment, we have Australia, India, New Zealand, and England who are quite strong, not perfect, but stronger perhaps. We need South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Pakistan to keep improving as well.”

The 29-year-old emphasized the role of the ‘strong’ sides in helping other cricketing nations hold on. She said – “We’ve seen that, especially in the International Women’s Championships. Sri Lanka are playing against England and Pakistan is playing against Australia a lot and these games will only make the teams better. Hopefully, that comes back in after the World Cup because it helps smaller nations face off against competitive teams and help the game better.”

Also Read:  Sehwag appreciates Indian Women team for their efforts at the World Cup

 

Australian Women’s Cricket Team. Pic Credits: Getty Images

 

Speaking of the 2022 ODI tournament, Lanning’s unit will seek to integrate this competitive cycle with its dominance over the title, despite healthy competition from various countries. Suspension is not to encourage indifference.

Lanning’s current focus is on preparing for the inaugural season of The Hundred. Calling it an opportunity for many, and a unique concept, she said – “It’s all sounding very exciting for that competition. Last year, unfortunately, it couldn’t quite get off the ground but this year, they’re putting in a lot of hard work into getting it up and running. It’s a great opportunity for the women’s game in that it’s giving us another tournament that’s extremely well run and very competitive.”

Lanning will be seen playing for the Welsh Fire as The Hundred kick starts with a women’s tournament this year, after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first match will be played between Manchester Originals and Oval Invincibles in London on July 21, followed by the Birmingham Phoenix locking horns with London Spirit at Edgbaston on July 23.

(Credits: Lavanya Lakshmi Narayanan, Sportstar)

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