Feel refreshed and ready to play the game: Meg Lanning on return to competitive cricket

Meg Lanning is set to make a comeback to competitive cricket after a five-month absence when an announcement on Friday said she would be captaining Australia in the home ODIs against Pakistan in January 2023.

Meg, considered as one of the greatest players in the women’s game, had stepped away from competitive cricket after leading Australia to gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August, citing personal reasons. As a result, she missed the WBBL and the five-match T20I series in India.

“I can’t wait to be out on the field again with Australia against Pakistan. Sometimes you just have to hit pause, step back and take a breather. That’s certainly what I needed. The past six months have taught me a lot. I’ve learnt so much about myself and who and what is important to me,” she wrote in an Instagram post, announcing her return to cricket.

Meg added that during the break from the game, she has found appreciation towards the importance of opening up and seeking help. “I’ve always played my cards pretty close to my chest. This experience has given me a greater appreciation of how opening up and talking to the people that care about you really can make the tough times feel easier.

“It’s ok to ask for help and admit that you don’t have everything under control. Having enjoyed some time and space, I feel refreshed and ready to play the game that I love in teams that I love. It’s such an exciting time for the game and I can’t wait to be part of it!”

Meg made her international debut for Australia in 2010. In 2014, as a 21-year-old, she was named as the captain of the side. Since then, she has led Australia in 171 matches across all formats with 135 victories against her name.

Under her leadership, Australia won 2014, 2018 and 2020 T20 World Cups, 2022 ODI World Cup, Commonwealth Games gold medal and many Ashes victories. She has also been a premier batter in women’s cricket, averaging 31.36 in Tests, 53.53 in ODIs and 36.48 in T20Is.

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