A tearful Lanning says she has “nothing left to achieve” as she announces her decision to quit international cricket.

Record-breaking Australian women’s captain Meg Lanning has announced her retirement from international cricket after winning seven World Cup titles in a 241-match career.

The 31-year-old top hitter, who led Australia to four Twenty20 World Cup titles, a 50-over World Cup triumph and a Commonwealth Games gold medal, said she had “nothing left to achieve” as she made her decision on Thursday announced.

Her performances as a batsman and captain earned her the nickname “Megastar”. Off the field, she played a crucial role in highlighting the gender pay gap in professional cricket for men and women.

After making her debut in 2010, she amassed 8,352 runs in international cricket. The total included 17 centuries and 38 half-centuries.

After 13 years in international cricket and having captained her country 182 times, Lanning said it was “the right time to move on to something new”.

“I’ve achieved so much in the game and been lucky enough to have such a successful career and be part of very successful teams,” a tearful Lanning told reporters at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“I think I now feel like I have nothing left to achieve on the international stage.

“I can’t be half-in or half-out about anything and I guess that’s where I’ve ended up with this decision.

“I no longer have the spark or motivation to do what needs to happen at this level and so it’s time for me to move on.”

An emotional Lanning broke down in tears as she thanked her father, Wayne, and mother, Sue, who attended her daughter’s farewell press conference. Lanning was born in Singapore when her father was a banker there.

Veteran wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy previously captained the Australian team in Lanning’s absence, but was recently sidelined after injuring her finger breaking up a dog fight.

Cricket Australia has not yet named a long-term replacement for Lanning.

“Legacy of global dominance”

Chief executive Nick Hockley praised Lanning as “one of the best cricketers Australia has produced” and “one of the best players in the world over a long period of time”.

“Under Meg’s leadership, the Australian women’s cricket team has built a legacy of global dominance and has been at the forefront of evolving the game and inspiring the next generation of cricketers around the world,” he added.

According to Cricket Australia, Lanning has hit more one-day centuries than any other woman and is the Australian women’s team’s leading run-scorer.

Australia won 26 consecutive one-day matches between 2018 and 2021 under Lanning’s captaincy, which remains the format’s record winning streak.

Lanning returned to the Australian team in January after a six-month break to “focus on myself”.

After her return, she led Australia to victory in the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa and led the Delhi Capitals to the final of the inaugural Women’s Premier League in India.

Lanning will continue to compete in domestic competitions, Cricket Australia said.

One of her fiercest rivals, England captain Heather Knight, paid special tribute to Lanning, branding her a “tough competitor” in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Australian cricket writer Peter Lalor praised the player as “an absolute legend of the game” who spent 13 years “at the top”.

Former Australian batsman and coach Darren Lehmann said Manning was a “fantastic ambassador for Australian cricket and the game”.

Alexandra Hartley, a former England cricketer who now commentates on the game, said the outgoing Australian captain had inspired “so many young girls and boys who want to ‘play the cut shot like Meg Lanning’”.

Source : www.aljazeera.com

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