In a career adorned with glittering achievements, including seven World Cups, a Commonwealth Games Gold, and 8,352 international runs, she not only graced the field but also in her 182 games as the leader of the national side, she guided her team from a devastating World Cup exit to an unprecedented level of dominance that the game may never witness again. Now, she decides it’s time.
Amidst retirement rumors, Meg Lanning made a remarkable return to competitive cricket after a nearly 6-month hiatus, showcasing her class with a brilliant knock of 51 playing for Victoria in the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL). Only recently, as she prepped for the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), she expressed, that she’s enjoying cricket and has a lot left in her.
Fans awaited her return to international cricket with Australia’s forthcoming multi-format tour of India, but she has now quashed all retirement speculations, surprising the cricket world with her sudden retirement from international cricket.
As Meg Lanning believes it’s the “right time” for her to move on to “something new,” the 31-year-old cricket royalty will maintain her presence in domestic cricket. She will be playing in the Women’s National Cricket League, the Women’s Big Bash League, and possibly the Women’s Premier League as well.
In a statement, Meg Lanning said, “The decision to step away from international cricket was a difficult one to make, but I feel now is the right time for me. 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.”
Meg Lanning has recently taken multiple breaks from cricket. Following Australia’s Gold medal finish at the Commonwealth Games in 2022, she opted for an indefinite break away from the game. However, as the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup drew near, Meg returned to international cricket, featuring in a lead-up series against Pakistan on home soil.
In pursuit of a three-peat, the Australian women’s team, led by Meg Lanning, successfully defended their T20 World Cup title. Following this victory, she led the Delhi Capitals to the Final in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League.
Since the title defense in South Africa in February, Meg hasn’t worn the Green and Gold. She missed Australia’s tour of the UK due to an undisclosed medical issue. Despite her recovery and participation in the WNCL, she sat out of the 6-match white-ball series against West Indies in October.
Meg Lanning, who debuted for Australia at 18 in 2010, played 241 international matches, including six Tests, 103 ODIs, and 132 T20Is. She became captain at 21 in 2014, leading Australia to four T20 World Cup wins, an ODI World Cup title, and a Commonwealth Games Gold. Notably, at 18, in only her second ODI, she scored her maiden century, becoming the youngest Australian female to achieve this feat.
Meg Lanning, the second-highest run-scorer in women’s T20Is with 3,405 runs from 121 matches, boasts an impressive average of 36.61, a strike rate of 116.37, and two centuries, including a high score of 133*. In ODIs, her average stands at 53.51, amassing 4,602 runs from 102 games, a record 15 centuries, and her best score of 152*.
Meg played her cricket during a time when women’s Tests were a rare sight. It’s saddening that such a technically sound batter graced the whites on only 12 occasions across her 13-year career, accumulating 345 runs, including a highest score of 93.
Meg’s runs and titles certainly speak for themselves, but the most exceptional aspect of her captaincy era was the incredible 26-match winning streak in ODIs. This feat surpassed even the greats, including Australia’s own Ricky Ponting. It is a testament to her leadership and the extraordinary legacy she leaves behind, making the term legendary an understatement.
At the age of 31, Meg Lanning bids farewell as the most decorated Australian skipper. Her influence on the cricketing culture within the Australian camp not only propelled her team to greatness but also prompted other national women’s teams to review their approach to the women’s game. After inspiring thousands, she exits international cricket as a true trendsetter in more ways than one.
Thank you for your services to the women’s game, Meg Lanning.