‘Born to play cricket’ and ‘born to win tournaments’ clearly defines Meg Lanning’s illustrious career. Such has been her envious record that since her debut on 20th December 2010, there has not been a single year when she hasn’t been bestowed with awards. Today as she completes a decade in international cricket, let’s ponder over the journey of the ‘Megastar’.
Meghann Lanning was born in Singapore, a place with no cricketing history. Her family then relocated to Sydney where she began playing organized cricket and went on to represent New South Wales at the school level. After yet another relocation at the young age of 14, Lanning made headlines by becoming the first girl to play First XI cricket for an Associated Public Schools team.
Making her debut for Victoria in 2008, Lanning didn’t really have a breakout season till 2010-11 where she recorded her first Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) century making 127 off 123 balls. Such has been her dominance with the bat that despite not playing in a championship-winning team, she has won the Player of the Year award for a record six times.
Meg Lanning has been making and breaking records for fun. In November 2012, she made 175 and broke the record for the highest individual WNCL score. As if that was not enough, she went on to make 241* just eight days later in Women’s Premier Cricket, a record which she broke by scoring 244 few seasons later.
Meg Lanning made her International Debut Exactly 10 years ago today, and the rest is history!!
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) December 30, 2020
Scoring truckloads of runs domestically doesn’t equate to a similar stellar performance at the international level. But this doesn’t hold true for Meg Lanning; she adapted to the international stage like a fish to water. Just a couple of days after her ODI debut, Lanning scored her maiden century and became the country’s youngest ever centurion at 18 years and 288 days- a record previously held by her idol Ricky Ponting.
After tasting early success in the international arena, Lanning won the first of her five ICC World championships in 2012. The same year, Lanning blitzed a century off just 45 balls in an ODI against New Zealand and broke the record for the fastest hundred by an Australian Woman.
Successful with the bat, the only challenge Meg was yet to face was the captaincy challenge. But for someone who had conquered everything that came her way, she passed this test too with flying colors. In early 2014, Lanning became Australia’s youngest-ever captain and she hasn’t looked back since.
No athlete or sportsperson has an injury-free career; it is a professional hazard. Lanning entered the 2017 Cricket World Cup under a fitness cloud but shrugged off injury concerns with an innings of 152* against Sri Lanka. However, at the conclusion of the tournament, Lanning had to undergo shoulder surgery and was expected to be sidelined for six-eight months. But Lanning bounced back with renewed vigor. After her return, she created a plethora of records; both with the bat and as a captain, and secured many more championships for Australia.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) October 5, 2020
With success in overseas tournaments, expectations on home soil are always high but in the inaugural match of the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup, Meg Lanning’s team faced defeat at the hands of a young Indian team. Not one to be cowed down, Meg Lanning roared back only to stop after winning the trophy by annihilating the Indian team in the finals. This made her only the third Australian captain after Lyn Larsen and Michael Clarke to win a World Cup title on home soil.
Throughout her career, Meg Lanning has kept the statisticians busy as she goes on breaking old records and creating new ones. But knowing her and her voracious appetite for creating and breaking records one thing is certain- she is not going to rest on past laurels and many more records are in the offing.
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