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Aussie skipper Meg Lanning out of Ashes

By Warren Barnsley, Warren Barnsley is a Roar Guru

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    Australia have suffered a huge blow to their women’s cricket Ashes chances, with captain and star batter Meg Lanning ruled out.

    Lanning, 25, will miss up to the next eight months after having surgery to the shoulder which caused her problems during the recent World Cup.

    The world’s highest-rated women’s batter, has dominated for world No.1 Australia during her 136-match international career, averaging 54 in ODIs with 11 centuries.

    Her absence at No.3 may increase the batting load of star all-rounder Ellyse Perry, who has also been a mainstay in the Australian middle order with an average of 51 in 91 ODI matches.

    Lanning, who led Australia to victory in England in the last Ashes series in 2015, averaged 82 in six matches at the World Cup in England in June-July despite carrying the injury.

    It’s unclear who will lead Australia against world champions England in the seven-match, multi-format series from October 22.

    Bowler Rachael Haynes was made skipper in Lanning’s absence during the World Cup in England last month, ahead of vice-captain Alex Blackwell.

    “While it’s very disappointing to be unavailable for the Ashes, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into my rehabilitation and returning to cricket as soon as possible,” Lanning said.

    “It’s an incredibly special occasion for any cricketer to be a part of and I wish the team all the best as they set out to retain the Ashes.”

    Australian team physiotherapist Kate Mahoney said a timeline for Lanning’s return would be clearer when she commences rehabilitation.

    “Meg has been managing a right shoulder injury and following the recent World Cup it became apparent that she would require surgery,” Mahoney said.

    © AAP 2018

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