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‘Megastar’ Lanning leaves behind a legacy that could go unmatched

Last updated on 09 Nov 2023 | 10:47 AM
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‘Megastar’ Lanning leaves behind a legacy that could go unmatched

When a young Singaporean girl shifted to Sydney, little did she know that she was going to shape Australian women’s cricketing history

Some players are born for the sport. 

Meghann Moira Lanning is perhaps one of the best examples of that in women’s cricket. She breathed the sport like oxygen for the longest time until it got too much to breathe. Little did she know she would be the architect behind Australia’s rich dynasty, which could go unmatched in cricketing history - across generations and genders. 

It is seldom that an entire industry comes together to wish someone on their retirement. So much so when that team have been a fierce rival for everyone that have stepped in the ring against them. 

But Lanning’s career is a blockbuster story. It is a tale of talent marrying grit and determination - culminating in one of the richest careers that the sport has ever witnessed. She has the quintessential Australian ethos and attitude in her blood but without being in your face. 

Five T20 World Cups, two ODI World Cups, three Ashes win, and a Commonwealth Gold medal, Lanning is the definition of ‘I have completed cricket’ multiple times. 

When she brought up her first century, aged 18, it was written in the stars that she would go down to be the Megastar. 

Also Read: Meg Lanning, the architect behind Australian dynasty

She’s made 132 WT20I appearances for Australia, including 103 WODI appearances and six Test appearances. During that time, she has scored over 8,000 runs across formats, but when asked about a stand-out moment in her career, Lanning had an answer that sums her up the best. 

"In terms of on the field, 2017, at that World Cup [things] didn't go to plan," Lanning said of her proudest moment in international cricket. 

"But, you look back on that and you learn so much, I learned so much.

"We probably wouldn't have had the success that we had if that moment hadn't have happened.”

That’s what makes Lanning, the MEGastar. 


Statistically, too, her impact on the sport has been profound. 

Several cricketers have been laced with various accolades, but Lanning has aced the sport. 

Only two cricketers in men’s cricket have averaged over 50 and struck at 90+ strike-rate (min 100 ODIs): AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. It is already a rare feat in the sport, but when you look at it from a women’s cricket lens, there is only one: Meg Lanning. 

Lanning’s impact on the sport has always been measured in terms of her abilities as a captain, but as a batter, the Victorian was miles ahead of the competition. When you judge her based on her captaincy, she’s the only leader in the game's history to have five ICC titles - four T20 World Cups and one ODI World Cup - against her name. 

Across men’s and women’s ODI cricket, Lanning has a win percentage of 88.46, the highest for any skipper (min 70 matches). 

Her Australian team was dominant? They were second next to none. 

Lanning led the Australian women’s team to a world record of 24 consecutive WODI wins. It was five more than what Ricky Ponting’s men achieved during their successful streak of 20 consecutive ODI wins. 

Even in a fickle format like T20s, Lanning boasts a win percentage of 76 out of the 100 clashes that she has led the national team. It was an Australian culture created by Lanning, Rachael Haynes and Matthew Mott. 

But one of her biggest successes wasn’t purely on the field; it was off the field, inspiring a generation of young girls back in Australia to take up the sport. Not just that, it was under her leadership that saw a historic day in women’s cricket - equal pay for both men's and women’s cricketers - in Australia. 

“Hopefully [my career has had] a positive influence,” she said after her retirement. 

Lanning shouldered the burden of a home T20 World Cup, where her flawless captaincy and a strong Australian team led by her won not just the tournament but also changed the sport's global outlook, positively impacting the game’s health. 

In front of nearly 90,000 people, it was a statement win; it was a win that has since been inspiring young women to take up the sport, which has already been well nourished and blessed by her cuts, pulls and drives through the Meg Lanning corridor, sounds that perhaps is still ringing in your ears


“Let’s f***ing go” 

Lanning did not hold back her cannon before the all-important final against South Africa in the Women’s T20 World Cup 2022. It is the changing landscape of Lanning from someone who was viewed as a rather calm and composed character to someone showing emotions.

Since then, Lanning has been quite active in talking about the mental aspect of the sport and even went to lengths, working at a Cafe in Melbourne to regain her love for cricket. 

When, on November 9 (Thursday), the five-time World Cup winner announced her retirement at 31, it spiralled a shockwave beyond the borders. But all of it in a closed atmosphere, away from the limelight that men’s cricketers often are garlanded with. 

All of this in a small press conference, in a two-minute clip that since then has gone viral. 

In between her sentences, a teardrop fell through her eyes, running down her cheeks, and perhaps painted the exact picture of her emotional state. 

Lanning’s impact on the game will always be remembered, and her parting message for the youth is as strong as her impact. 

Love a game only till it starts taking a toll on you. 

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