Melbourne [Australia], August 10 (ANI): Star Australian batter and skipper Meg Lanning announced on Wednesday that she will take an indefinite break from cricket, citing personal reasons.
Lanning had just helped her team complete a successful Commonwealth Games 2022 campaign in Birmingham, in which Aussies captured gold after defeating India by nine runs in the final. She takes a step back from the game after a busy period of two and a half years during which Australia continued their domination by winning T20I and ODI World Cup events and Ashes series at home.
The 30-year-old player has set no timeline for her return but has received support from Cricket Australia.
"We are proud of Meg for acknowledging that she needs a break and will continue to support her during this time," Cricket.com.au quoted Shawn Flegler, CA's Head of Performance, Women's Cricket as saying in a statement.
"She has been an incredible contributor to Australian cricket over the last decade, achieving remarkable feats both individually and as part of the team, and has been a brilliant role model for young kids."
"The welfare of our players is always our number one priority, and we will continue to work with Meg to ensure she gets the support and space she needs," the Head of Performance concluded.
In a written statement, Lanning said: "After a busy couple of years, I have made the decision to take a step back to enable me to spend time focusing on myself. I'm grateful for the support of CA and my teammates and ask that my privacy is respected during this time."
Lanning made her international cricket debut as an 18-year-old in 2010 and established herself as a premier batter of her side and women's ODI as a whole. She scored a century in her second ODI and became the youngest Australian to hit a century in an international match. This was one of the many hundreds that followed.
Since taking over the captaincy in 2014, she has led Aussies 171 times, behind Ricky Ponting and Allan Border.
"Getting the captaincy so young, she has had a big responsibility on her shoulders for the majority of her career now," Alyssa Healy told cricket.com.au in March.
"Sometimes you worry that maybe they are not going to enjoy themselves, enjoy their career as much."
"But I think 'Motty' (former head coach Matthew Mott), and having some really good senior players around as well, has probably enabled her to just enjoy it, and let things happen organically; it's not that she is forcing change or anything, it happened over time."
This indefinite break of Lanning combined with recent resignation of Motts is a massive blow to Australia's leadership group.
However, interim head coach Shelley Nitschke steered Australia to Commonwealth Games success, and the likes of Rachael Haynes, Healy, Ellyse Perry, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney and Megan Schutt all have a lot of experience in international cricket.
Australia's next series is a tour of India in December, which will have five T20I matches. (ANI)