Cricket-Ex-Australia skipper Lanning details health issues she faced before international retirement


  • Cricket
  • Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

Cricket - ICC Women’s Cricket T20 World Cup - Semi Final - Australia v India - Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, South Africa - February 23, 2023 Australia's Meg Lanning in action REUTERS/Nic Bothma

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former Australia women's captain Meg Lanning said she struggled with weight loss and insomnia before her shock retirement from international cricket last year.

Lanning, who won the T20 World Cup five times and the 50-overs edition twice, pulled out of the Women's Ashes last year for medical reasons and quit the national team in November.

The 32-year-old told the Howie Games podcast that she was grappling with an identity crisis away from the sport and that her diet and training regime had become unbalanced.

"It sort of just spiralled," said Lanning, who described running up to 90km a week while eating only two small meals a day.

"I was not in a place to be able to go on tour and play cricket and give the commitment levels required for that Ashes series, mentally and physically.

"I got down to about 57kg from 64kg. The ratios were out of whack a lot.

"It was just all out of whack and I kept sliding. At some point, it's got to stop."

One of the game's most decorated players, Lanning also took a long break in 2022 before returning the following year to lead Australia to the T20 World Cup title in South Africa.

She said she also struggled with insomnia and at one point was getting only a couple of hours' sleep each night.

"I dreaded night time because I knew I would go to bed and not be able to sleep," she said.

"That would make me so mad. I would just get more angry with myself. If you can't sleep, you can't do anything."

Lanning has continued to play domestic T20 cricket and the lucrative Women's Premier League in India but has ruled out a return to the national side.

Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy replaced Lanning as Australia captain in December.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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