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Lanning tried to talk herself out of surprise retirement call: 'One of the finest cricketers Australia has produced'

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9th November, 2023
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With nothing left to give, an emotional Meg Lanning has bowed out of international cricket as Australia’s most successful captain.

The superstar batter will continue playing in the WBBL and the Women’s National Cricket League, and possibly the Women’s Premier League in India, but has decided against playing for Australia again.

Speaking outside the MCG on Thursday in front of family, friends and members of the Australian and Victorian cricket fraternity, Lanning explained she had tried to talk herself out of ending her illustrious career aged 31.

“I’m sad that it’s finishing up, but I’m very much ready for something new,” Lanning said.

“I’ve achieved so much within the game and I’ve been lucky enough to have such a successful career, being part of various successful teams.

“I feel like now I’ve got nothing left to achieve on the international stage.

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“For me, I I can’t be half in or half out with anything and I guess that’s that’s where I’ve landed with this decision.

“I no longer have the sparkle, the motivation to do what needs to happen at this level.”

Lanning broke down when thanking her father Wayne and mother Sue, who attended their daughter’s farewell press conference.

The Victorian, who was born in Singapore, captained Australia to a record five World Cup crowns after becoming the country’s youngest captain aged 21 in 2014.

In what turned out to be her final international match, Lanning led Australia to the 2023 T20 World Cup title against South Africa in February.

After missing the Ashes in England earlier this year over health concerns, Lanning is back playing for the Melbourne Stars in this season’s WBBL.

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Lanning initially took a break from cricket last year following Australia’s gold medal triumph at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, returning for the home series against Pakistan in January.

“Over the last 18 months, I’ve taken a step back and it’s given me the chance to see different things,” she said.

“I guess I’ve got a bit of a different perspective on how I saw the game and how I felt about playing it.

“I was always really driven by team success and trying to help the team.

“I’ve probably been trying to convince myself a little bit over the last 18 months why I should keep playing and what it is that I want to achieve.”

Her crowning achievement came in the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia as the hosts lifted the trophy in front of 86,174 fans at the MCG just days before the COVID-19 pandemic ensured fans could not attend live sport for an extended period.

A three-time Belinda Clark medallist, Lanning scored 8352 runs from 241 international matches after debuting in T20s in 2010.

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In just her second ODI, Lanning became the youngest Australian to score an international century when she hit an unbeaten 104 against England aged 18.

She retires with the best average – 53.51 – in women’s ODIs for players that have made 25 or more appearances.

“One of the finest cricketers Australia has produced, Meg’s supreme achievements with the bat have been matched by her inspiring leadership,” Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said.

“As one of the best players in the world over a long period of time, Meg has made an immeasurable impact and led a generation which has helped revolutionise the game.”

Lanning will be back in action on Friday when her Stars face the red-hot Sydney Thunder in a WBBL match at the North Sydney Oval.

Alyssa Healy has been captain in Lanning’s absence, but at 33, is not expected to be Australia’s long-term skipper.

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© AAP

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