Meg Lanning – “I was working at a cafe for about eight weeks”

Meg Lanning, the former Australian skipper, announced her retirement from all forms of international cricket on 9th November 2023. Since then the batter has engaged herself in domestic cricket and was also spotted working in a cafe. Under her leadership, the Australian side reached new heights as she led them to 5 World Cup titles and a coveted gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. The Delhi Capitals captain, ideally nicknamed the Mega-Star, amassed 8352 runs at the international level across all formats of the game.

Meg Lanning - “I was working at a cafe for about eight weeks". PC: WPL
Meg Lanning – “I was working at a cafe for about eight weeks”. PC: WPL

On her retirement

“Yeah, it’s been good to be a little bit quieter, and a little bit slower pace, but ready to get back into it with the WPL.”

On her Domestic Cricket Participation

Meg Lanning was actively participating in domestic tournaments and kept herself in touch with the game. In preparation for the WPL 2024, Meg played in the Women’s National Cricket League 2023/24. The Delhi skipper represented Victoria in the tournament and featured in 10 games. She amassed 492 runs in the tournament, averaging 82 with the bat; she ended the tournament as the second-highest run-scorer.

“No, I’ve still been playing a little bit, some domestic cricket back home. So yeah, I’m sort of in a bit of a weird spot at the moment, sort of retired but sort of playing a lot and you know just trying to get ready for the tournaments that I’m playing just like this one.”

On working at a cafe

Apart from cricket Meg Lanning is an avid coffee lover and spent some of her time working at a cafe. As one would imagine, a change of scenery after years of toiling hard in the field, was a much-deserved break from cricket.

“I was working at a cafe for about eight weeks, mainly just taking the coffee out and cleaning the dishes. I would love to have been the barista, but maybe that’ll be my next step.”

On Delhi Capitals campaign last season and defeat in the finals

The Delhi Capitals had an impressive run in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League, having won 6 of their 8 group-stage games. They ended with 12 points and topped the points table at the end of the group stage. Their amazing performance saw them take on the Mumbai Indians in the Final of the inaugural edition of the WPL. The Delhi Capitals suffered a heart-crushing 6-wicket defeat in the finals.

“We would have loved to have won and we got reasonably close there in the end. We didn’t make as many runs as we would have liked but we were able to fight pretty hard with the ball. Mumbai was just too good in the end, but you know you look back at a season like that having come together so, close to the tournament to be able to play such good cricket throughout was great and there were a lot of positives from it so we were disappointed, but lots of things to take out of it and hopefully we can do one better this year.”

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On how the preparation is better as compared to last year

Owing to it being the inaugural edition and a fresh start for the team, all the teams faced issues with their preparation due to time constraints and the Delhi Capitals were no exception to the rule. However, this year, all the players have come back better prepared and with more experience. The chemistry between the players is much better as they spent the entire last season together. The players are better acclimated with the other players as well as the management staff.

“Yeah, it’s been great so far. I mean, it’s sort of just come in, but everybody looks like they’ve improved. They’re enjoying their cricket and you know, ready for the tournament to start. So, yeah, we do know each other a lot more, a lot better than we did last year, which is great. We’ve got a reasonably similar squad as well. So hopefully that means we’ll be able to play well and take it out this year.”

On addition in the squad, especially that of Annabel Sutherland

The auction for the WPL 2024 was held in December 2023, some teams had settled squads but some teams came out of the auction with a totally new look. Delhi had a successful season last year and had a pretty settled squad and made only minor changes to their squad. They availed the services of star Australian all-rounder Annabel Sutherland for INR 2 Crores, with only 25 lakhs remaining in their purse, they went on to get two uncapped players, Aparna Mondal for INR 10 Lakhs and Ashwani Kumari for INR 10 Lakhs.

“Yeah, she (Annabel) comes in hot form. Annabel well, obviously played a lot of cricket with her and she’s a great addition. Both with the bat and the ball, I think she’s matured a lot on and off the field over the past 12 months. To come into our team, I think she’ll add a lot of depth and a lot of firepower too, so I’m excited to see how she can go.

Also Read:  Meg Lanning reveals the reason for her untimely retirement

On the nature of surfaces in Bangalore and Delhi, and a chance to play on home soil

The WPL this season is scheduled to begin on the 23rd of February and will be played in Bangalore and Delhi. The tournament will kick-off in Bangalore and the second leg will be played in Delhi. Historically, both venues have been good for batting. The Capitals will be playing on their home turf for the first time, as all the matches in the previous edition were held in Mumbai.

“Yes, I’ve heard that. I’ve only been once at Delhi some years ago, not before in Bangalore, so we’re relying on some local knowledge as to how that goes. Yeah, that’s so cool. We’re pumped for that, to be able to play in front of our home fans. We felt the support last year playing in Mumbai, but to be able to go out on our home deck and play in front of our fans is something I know the group’s looking forward to.”

On repeating her feat of winning the Orange Cap

In the previous edition of the WPL, Meg Lanning was one of the most consistent batters in the Delhi lineup. In 9 games she scored 345 runs in the season and averaged 49.28. She notched up 2 fifty-plus scores and scored at a strike rate of 139.11. The Delhi Capitals Will be hoping that despite her retirement, Meg will be in the same red-hot form.

“It was nice to contribute to what I did last year, my number one aim is to come here and help Delhi win the tournament and obviously as a batter, I have to make some runs, that’s the plan, and looking forward to playing here again in India I have always enjoyed it, it’s gonna be tough there are some good bowlers out there who everyone knows how good they are and would be looking to have some fun and see what happens.”

Meg Lanning and Delhi Capitals will kick off their campaign on 23rd February against Mumbai Indians in Bangalore, a replay of the last edition’s final.

(Information sourced from JioCinema / Sports18)

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