After 13 years and 241 games for Australia – 182 of them as captain – Meg Lanning steps away from the international game
Lanning retires from international cricket at 31
Australia captain Meg Lanning has announced her retirement from international cricket, declaring it is "the right time" to end her 13-year career in the green and gold.
The 31-year-old walks away as a seven-time World Cup winner – five of those as captain – a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Australia's greatest run scorer across all women's formats.
She packs away her kit bag having played 241 matches for Australia – six Tests, 103 ODIs and 132 T20Is – for a combined 8,352 runs including 17 international centuries.
Lanning missed this year's tours of England, Ireland and a home series against West Indies as she dealt with an undisclosed medical issue.
That leave of absence came after she elected to take a six-month break from the game in the second half of 2022.
"The decision to step away from international cricket was a difficult one to make, but I feel now is the right time for me," Lanning said in a statement.
"I've been incredibly fortunate to enjoy a 13-year international career, but I know now is the right time for me to move on to something new.
"Team success is why you play the game, I'm proud of what I have been able to achieve and will cherish the moments shared with teammates along the way."
Lanning informed her national teammates of her decision on Wednesday, sharing an emotional exchange with Melbourne Stars teammates Annabel Sutherland and Kim Garth following their game in Ringwood.
Meg Lanning by the numbers
Tests: Matches: 6 | Runs: 345 | Ave: 31.36 | HS: 93 | 50s: 2
ODIs: Matches: 103 | Runs: 4602 | Ave: 53.51 | HS: 152* | 100s: 15 | 50s: 21
T20Is: Matches: 132 | Runs: 4405 | Ave: 41.53 | HS: 133* | 100s: 2 | 50s: 15
World Cups wins: ODI WC: 2013, 2022 | T20I: 2012, 2014, 2018, 2020, 2023
Belinda Clark Award winner: 2014, 2015, 2017
It officially ends Lanning's almost 10-year tenure as Australian captain and the world's top-ranked team will be looking for a permanent replacement ahead of next month's multi-format tour of India.
Vice-captain Alyssa Healy, who filled in for Lanning during her recent absences, is also under a cloud as she recovers from a dog bite injury that ended her WBBL season.
Adelaide Strikers captain Tahlia McGrath has deputised for Healy on those tours, captaining on two occasions when the wicketkeeper-batter was unavailable.
Singapore-born Lanning made her international debut on December 30, 2010, in a T20I against New Zealand.
She became the youngest Australian to score an international century when she scored 104 not out against England at the WACA Ground in 2011 in just her second one-dayer, aged 18 years and 288 days.
In 2012, she scored what was then the fastest ODI century by an Australian, hammering a ton off 45 balls against New Zealand at North Sydney Oval.
Here's Meg a few years back reflecting on one of her finest ever knocks plus some highlights! pic.twitter.com/zlj6PNB1q1— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) December 16, 2020
It was a record that stood until last month, when Glenn Maxwell hit a ton off 40 balls against the Netherlands.
Part of Australia's 2012 T20 and 2013 ODI World Cup triumphs, Lanning became the youngest person to captain Australia when she filled in for an injured Jodie Fields in January 2014, aged 21, and was appointed to the job full-time shortly after.
She led her country to a T20 World Cup triumph shortly after as they claimed a third consecutive crown in Bangladesh, then in 2015, Lanning was instrumental both as a leader and with the bat as Australia regained the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001.
The first significant personal setback of her career came in 2017 when Lanning battled through a serious shoulder injury during an ODI World Cup that ended with Australia's shock semi-final exist and she subsequently underwent surgery that ruled her out of the 2017-18 home Ashes.
But the right-hander returned with a vengeance in 2018 as she combined with coach Matthew Mott to steer Australia into a period of unprecedented dominance.
She was in the middle with Ashleigh Gardner when the allrounder hit the winning runs to claim the 2018 T20 World Cup, and at the helm as Australia went on a world record run of 26 consecutive ODI victories between 2018 and 2021.
In 2019, Lanning scored the then-highest score in women's T20Is as she blasted 133 from 63 deliveries against England at Chelmsford, during what was an unbeaten Ashes campaign for the Aussies.
Lanning shouldered the immense burden of a home T20 World Cup in 2020 to lead her team to victory in front of 86,174 at the MCG and two years later, led her team through a flawless one-day World Cup campaign in New Zealand.
After Australia won the first ever women's T20 Gold Medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Lanning took a six-month break from the game to focus on her mental and physical health.
She returned to lead Australia to yet another T20 World Cup title in South Africa in February – fittingly, the final at Newlands which saw her raise the trophy would turn out to be her last in the green and gold.
Lanning captained Australia on 182 occasions, more than any other women's player, and led the team to a historic five World Cup crowns. Overall, Australia had an 80 per cent win rate under her stewardship.
The Victorian was also crowned the Belinda Clark medallist three times across a four-year period between 2014 and 2017.
Lanning will continue to play in domestic competitions, including the ongoing Weber WBBL, where she is in the first year of a three-season deal with the Stars, and for Victoria in the Women's National Cricket League.
"On behalf of Australian Cricket, I would like to congratulate Meg on her incredible career as an Australian cricketer and all she has achieved as captain of the Australian women's cricket team," Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said.
"One of the finest cricketers Australia has produced, Meg's supreme achievements with the bat have been matched by her inspiring leadership.
"As one of the best players in the world over a long period of time, Meg has made an immeasurable impact and led a generation which has helped revolutionise the game.
"Under Meg's leadership, the Australian women's cricket team has built a legacy of global dominance and has been at the forefront of growing the game and inspiring the next generation of cricketers all around the world."
"A seven-time World Cup winner and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Meg retires from international cricket having achieved everything there is to achieve and we thank her for the immense contribution she has made."