Australian cricket great Meg Lanning has announced her retirement from international cricket.
The women’s captain bows out of the game 13 years after making her debut following one of the most decorated careers in the history of the game.
The 31-year-old retires having lifted the most World Cups as captain in history and will go down as one of the great leaders Australian sport has seen in recent times.
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She won seven World Cups, three Belinda Clark medals and scored 8352 runs, including 17 centuries, in 241 international matches.
“The decision to step away from international cricket was a difficult one to make, but I feel now is the right time for me,” she said on Thursday.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to enjoy a 13-year international career, but I know now is the right time for me to move on to something new.
“Team success is why you play the game, I’m proud of what I have been able to achieve and will cherish the moments shared with teammates along the way.
“I’d like to thank my family, my teammates, Cricket Victoria, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association for their support to allow me to play the game I love at the highest level.
“I also want to say a huge thank you to all the fans who have supported me throughout my international career.”
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Meg Lanning has retired from international cricket. Credit: Getty
Lanning missed tours of England and Ireland as well as a home series against West Indies this year in the wake of a medical issue that has not been made public.
She had only recently got back from a separate leave of absence, having taken a six-month break from the sport in the back half of 2022.
Alyssa Healy had stepped in as captain in Lanning’s absence, but Thursday’s announcement officially brings the incumbent’s 10-year tenure as Australia’s skipper to an end.
The champion batter, who also plays for Victoria, the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL and the Dehli Capitals in the WPL, told national teammates of her decision on Wednesday.
The Aussies will have to find a full-time replacement for Lanning ahead of next month’s multi-format tour of India.
Alyssa Healy had surgery on her hand after a dog bite. Credit: Getty/Instagram
Vice-captain Healy would be the natural successor, but is under an injury cloud after undergoing surgery on her hand following a dog bite.
Star allrounder Tahlia McGrath has been Healy’s understudy during her interim tenure, and took the reigns herself for two matches when the Aussie wicketkeeper was unavailable.
“On behalf of Australian Cricket, I would like to congratulate Meg on her incredible career as an Australian cricketer and all she has achieved as captain of the Australian women’s cricket team,” Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said.
“One of the finest cricketers Australia has produced, Meg’s supreme achievements with the bat have been matched by her inspiring leadership.
“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.
She bows out as one of the game’s greats. Credit: Alex Davidson/Getty Images
“Under Meg’s leadership, the Australian women’s cricket team has built a legacy of global dominance and has been at the forefront of growing the game and inspiring the next generation of cricketers all around the world.
“A seven-time World Cup winner and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Meg retires from international cricket having achieved everything there is to achieve and we thank her for the immense contribution she has made.
“We look forward to celebrating Meg’s distinguished international career at an appropriate time.”
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