Meg Lanning unlikely to play for Victoria when WNCL 2023-24 resumes

The 28th edition of Australia’s elite One-Day tournament, the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL), commenced on September 22, 2023. With the 9th edition of their premier Twenty20 (T20) competition, the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), completed, attention now returns to the WNCL as it resumes on December 14, 2023.

Meg Lanning unlikely to play for Victoria when WNCL 2023-24 resumes. PC: Getty
Meg Lanning unlikely to play for Victoria when WNCL 2023-24 resumes. PC: Getty

In the first-leg fixtures, Victoria lost all four of their games and, while seeking to reset, they’ve suffered a massive blow with senior pro Meg Lanning’s prolonged absence from the game. During Victoria’s 23/24 WNCL season opener, Meg Lanning took to the field for the first time in almost six months. Despite this absence, she emerged as the top scorer for the team in all four outings, registering scores of 51 (48), 35 (30), 51 (47), and an unbeaten 73* (71), showcasing her seamless return.

Meg carried the momentum into the WBBL, although she didn’t achieve as much success. Nonetheless, she did notch up a few good scores at regular intervals. Mid-season, Meg Lanning (31) announced her retirement from international cricket, drawing the curtain on an enormously successful and illustrious career.

Meg was expected to be available for domestic games, but four games after announcing her retirement, she withdrew from the competition citing personal reasons. All eyes were on her return with Victoria in the WNCL, but the head of women’s cricket at CV has confirmed that there’s ‘no timeline’ for her availability, leaving her participation in the upcoming matches uncertain.

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Quoting, Victorian head of women’s cricket Sharelle McMahon, “Meg’s thinking about how she’ll come back into training and certainly considering those things, which is great… from our medical team’s perspective, she remains unavailable as she takes some time away from competitive cricket.

“There’s just no timeline on that … we’re just trying to be respectful to her and make sure she has all the support in place as she continues to work through that. We’ll just wait and see what it looks like.”

However, it’s not all gloom for Victoria. Sophie Molineux, who has been sidelined for almost two years due to injuries, is making excellent progress and is set for a highly anticipated comeback. She will be back on the field, leading the team for a pair of matches against New South Wales on December 19 and 21 as Victoria resumes their WNCL season.

For an underperforming Victoria, there’s more promising news as star pacer Tayla Vlaeminck is nearing her return to cricket after dislocating her non-bowling shoulder on the UK tour earlier this year.

Sharelle McMahon, on the same, said, “Tayla is bowling as well and she is also progressing really well, but her return to play is certainly looking forward into the New Year. We don’t have any specific dates for her but we’re hopeful she’ll start getting some cricket in before the end of the season.”

(Quotes sourced from news.com.au)

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