Lanning named WBBL Player of the Tournament
Melbourne Stars skipper wins top gong after dominating inaugural WBBL season with the bat
Isabelle Westbury at the MCG
24 January 2016, 07:29 PM AEST
Guess what? Meg Lanning is pretty damn good at cricket.
The Southern Stars and Melbourne Stars skipper, and ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year, has been crowned the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League Player of the Tournament.
Lanning topped the run-scoring charts for the inaugural tournament, posting 560 runs, almost 100 runs more than her nearest competitor, England captain Charlotte Edwards.
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It was a tally that came at a fair old whack too, coming off 492 balls at a strike rate of 113.8, with an average of 56 and including a high score of 90. She also racked up nine sixes throughout the tournament, just one fewer than the queen(s) of sixes, New Zealand internationals Sara McGlashan and Sophie Devine.
Like the player of this season’s KFC Big Bash League, Chris Lynn, however, Lanning’s team, the Melbourne Stars, failed to make it to finals. In another example of Lanning’s supremacy with the bat, while she led the run-scoring chart, her next team-mate came in at a paltry 23rd.
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Here is a woman who takes pressure in her stride. Time and again she’s asked what it’s like to shoulder the constant weight of expectation – to score runs day in, day out. Time and again her answer is simple – it’s her job.
The only caveat to Lanning’s prolific feat was that her runs were scored mostly when the cameras weren’t on; her average at Melbourne’s second ground, the Junction Oval, was 132.5. It’ll come as a frustration, both to her and to spectators, not to have been able to show her skills during the televised semis and finals.
However with the Southern Stars about to begin their series against India on Tuesday, live on Channel 9, her purple patch couldn’t have come at a better time. No doubt there will be plenty more occasions to broadcast her considerable talents.
Not that Lanning’s run of form is anything unusual; for the last few years now she has been carving out a niche as the world’s best player. This is just another accolade to add to the many - past, present and future.
In an endorsement of the Rebel WBBL|01’s ability to attract top talent from around the world, the top 10 vote getters read like an international dream team. There were four Australians, which will please the national selectors, but it also included the likes of Edwards (2nd), the ICC Women's T20 Cricketer of the Year Stafanie Taylor (5th) from the West Indies, and South African opening bowler Marizanne Kapp (8th).