Meg Lanning returns as Australia announces ODI squad versus Pakistan

Meg Lanning, the long-standing skipper of Australia has announced her return to cricket after her indefinite break taken earlier this year thereby dispelling any doubts about a premature retirement. She has been included in the 13-member squad to square off against Pakistan in a three-match ODI series scheduled to begin on January 16, 2023.

 

Meg Lanning. PC: Getty Images
Meg Lanning. PC: Getty Images

 

Having added another trophy to her cabinet with the iconic Commonwealth Games 2022 victory, Lanning took a decision to take an indefinite break so as to focus on herself and her well-being after having led and represented Australia in back-to-back series and multination tournaments. She missed the WBBL, The Hundred and Australia’s tour to India and in her absence, Alyssa Healy took over the captaincy responsibilities with the young and talented, Tahlia McGrath serving as her deputy.

Meg Lanning is undoubtedly one of the finest cricketers to have ever donned the Aussie colours. Having made her debut at 18 and being the youngest captain at 21, she boasts of remarkable achievements like leading Australia to back-to-back T20 World Cup in 2018 and 2020 victories and even recently guiding Australia to glory in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022. She also pioneered Australia to wins in the T20 World Cups of 2012 and 2014. Her indefinite break speaks volumes about the pressures of playing international cricket and the demand of it can be taxing. She also reflected on how it is imperative to take a pause, step back and take a breather and that the past six months have taught her a lot and now she is refreshed and raring to go. A cricketer talking about prioritizing mental health is crucial and opens avenues for discussion on the same and can disseminate stigma surrounding mental health which is the need of the hour.

For the series versus Pakistan, Alyssa Healy will miss out owing to a calf injury and another interesting addition to the squad is that of Phoebe Litchfield, a consistent player on the Australian domestic circuit who had a quiet tour of India but will be looking to make a mark in this series. Kim Garth has also been included in the side and could potentially make her ODI debut and Jess Jonassen will be in a race against time to get fit and prove her fitness as an unfortunate injury in the India series meant she was sidelined and Australia will be hoping she can make a strong return.

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Australia ODI squad for the three-match ODI series against Pakistan:

Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland

I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.

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