Australia’s World Cup winning captain Meg Lanning made the shock decision on Thursday to call time on a glittering international cricket career, aged 31.
Over the course of a 13-year career, Lanning has won the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup twice, clinched five ICC Women’s T20 World Cup titles and led the Australians to the Commonwealth Games 2022 gold medal in Birmingham.
She has also led her country to 26 consecutive ODI wins between 2018 and 2021, a record in the format. Lanning captained her country in 182 matches, but has now decided to step away from international cricket.
“I’ve come to the realisation that 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,” Lanning said to reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.
“I’m not someone who can do things half-in half-out. I’ve battled away a little bit trying to work all that out. But it sort of became quite clear, particularly over the last couple of days that this was the right call and what I’m ready for.”
Lanning has featured in six Test matches for Australia, scoring 345 runs across six innings. She has also played in 103 ODI matches and 132 T20 games for her country.
Shortly after the triumph at the Commonwealth Games, Lanning took a break from the sport and worked as a barista in a café in Melbourne. She only returned to the team in January but settled in quickly to lead Australia to the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup title in February.
A month later, she was captain of eventual finalists Delhi Capitals in the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League. Though she has called retirement on international cricket, she will continue to play in domestic and franchise cricket.
She will feature for the Melbourne Stars in the Women’s Big Bash League and Victoria in the Women’s National Cricket League, while continuing with the Capitals in the 2024 season of the WPL in India.
“The competitive side in me will always be there and I always looked forward to big tournaments and big games,” she said. “I felt like that really brought the best out of me and I’ve really sort of prided myself on holding my nerve under pressure and being able to perform when the team needed me.
“It’s all I’ve ever known really for 13 years and I’ve given everything to being as good as I can to help the team win. That’s what it’s really been about, team success, and how I can help that and I’ve given everything to it. And now it’s time to focus on myself and see what else is out there.”
Nicknamed “Megastar,” Lanning now steps away from a glittering career in which she has been her country’s leading run scorer, and has captained the team to a 50-over World Cup and four T20 World Cup titles.