Women's World T20 2018
Lanning hails her 'most satisfying win'
Victorious skipper hopeful the triumph in the Caribbean will be the start of something special for the Australian women's team
Laura Jolly in Antigua
25 November 2018, 11:59 PM AEST
Australian skipper Meg Lanning says her team's World T20 triumph over England in Antigua is the most satisfying win of her career.
Lanning's team produced a brilliant performance with bat and ball to thump England by eight wickets, claiming their fourth World T20 trophy in the process.
Lanning was part of two of those previous wins, and the 2013 one-day World Cup victory in Mumbai, but Saturday's win at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium was particularly sweet, after defeat in the 2016 WT20 final in Kolkata and last year's 50-over World Cup semi-final exit.
"It's definitely the most satisfying win I've been involved in, especially after the last couple of years," Lanning said after the match.
"The last couple of World Cup exits for us hurt our team a lot. And we spoke about that as a group and not hiding away from that fact.
"But I think that the biggest thing has been that we've been able to learn and really grow as a group.
"Win, lose or draw today we are really happy where we are as a group.
"Our culture is fantastic and we're just really enjoying what we do, and I think we showed that out there tonight."
Let the celebrations begin! 🎉🇦🇺#WT20 #WATCHME pic.twitter.com/Iptokp6eyD— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@SouthernStars) November 25, 2018
It had been four years between ICC event triumphs for Australia prior to Saturday night; not a long drought by most team's standards but an eternity for a group of players who had tasted success four times in five years between 2010 and 2014.
For Lanning, Saturday's win was a particularly satisfying reward for her team's consistency over the past few years; they'd sat No.1 in the ICC's team rankings for all but a couple of months since 2015, without winning a major title.
And with the next World T20 tournament - to be played on home turf in early 2020 – just 14 months away, she desperately wants to see her team build on their Caribbean triumph.
"We want to be a very consistent cricket team and I think we have done that over the last few years without the success at world tournaments," she said.
"So hopefully this win is sort of the start of something.
"I've got no doubt that this group is capable of something special.
"We've really put together an amazing squad and support staff to be able to move the game forward and be part of the women's game, which is going to grow so much over the next couple of years.
"The T20 World Cup is in Australia in 2020, which is going to be massive (and) I think we've shown that we can be the world's best team.
"It's nice to get the World Cup success here, we're very keen to make sure we're very consistent and continue to win as many games as we can."
Lanning, who generally presents an almost unreadable demeanour on the pitch, displayed an unusual amount of emotion throughout this tournament.
After she scored the winning run on Saturday, the elated Australian captain jumped high in the air and then leapt into her teammate's arms.
This victory came after the toughest 12 months of the Australian captain's career, which saw her sidelined for seven months with a shoulder injury after that infamous World Cup exit, events that had an undeniable impact on Lanning as a player, captain and person.
"There's no doubt that I think that's had a massive impact on the way I look at the game," she said.
"That timeout for me was extremely difficult. Harder than I thought it was going to be.
"But now that I'm back in it, I'm enjoying being a part of it.
"The group's in such a good spot, we all enjoy each other's company, we really care about each other.
"As I said, we're lucky to do what we do. We feel privileged to be in the position we are."
We have a feeling these faces are going to stay smiling for a while to come! 😁😁😁#WT20 #WATCHME pic.twitter.com/acBx2ED6GI— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@SouthernStars) November 25, 2018
With Sunday set aside as a reserve day in case weather had impacted Saturday's final, Lanning's squad will spend one final day to lap up their victory in Antigua before beginning the long journey back to Melbourne to prepare for the start of the Rebel WBBL season next weekend.
"There will be some big celebrations," Lanning said. "I think we've been waiting for this moment for a long time and as I said, it's very, very satisfying win.
"I think this group's worked extremely hard to get the success and you don't know what's going to happen in the future, so we're going to make the most of it and enjoy each other's company."
2018 ICC Women's World T20
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
November 9: Australia beat Pakistan by 52 runs
November 11: Australia beat Ireland by nine wickets
November 13: Australia beat New Zealand by 33 runs
November 17: Australia lost to India by 48 runs
November 22: Semi-final: Australia beat West Indies by 71 runs
November 24: Final: Australia beat England by eight wickets