Clean slate as Lanning plots new path for Stars
Gun recruit Meg Lanning and coach Trent Woodhill have some big targets in mind as the Stars look to change their WBBL fortunes
22 July 2020, 04:06 PM AEST
Meg Lanning believes her return to the Melbourne Stars presents a "clean slate" as the club aims to overcome its poor history in the Rebel WBBL.
And one of the first orders of business for the Australian captain after she penned a three-year deal with the Stars was to discuss a hit list of uncontracted players to target with new coach Trent Woodhill.
With only six players currently on the club’s roster for WBBL|06, Lanning said there was plenty of scope to put together a new-look roster as they look to break an unwanted record of having never made the WBBL finals.
"It’s a long-term commitment, I’m looking forward to working with some younger players and Trent and trying to build a really successful team," Lanning told reporters on Wednesday of her return to the Stars, following three years with the Perth Scorchers.
"It’s a very difficult competition to excel in (but) I think the Stars have got some really good young players and at the moment we’ve only got five on the list from last year, so it will potentially be a bit of a different squad as well.
"It’s a clean slate in a way to try and kick-start the Stars again and try to be more successful than in the past."
Stars recruit Meg Lanning says she can't wait to work with the exciting youngsters at the Melbourne-based club #WBBL06 pic.twitter.com/ggkUkvWbfa— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) July 22, 2020
Lanning is tipping player movement between clubs to reach new levels this year, although she was careful not to name names when asked who the club may target or whether she hoped to lure any other Scorchers across.
Out-of-contract Perth players include young pace bowler Taneale Peschel, who received a CA XI call-up for the first time last summer. If the Stars are looking to bolster their all-round stocks, Lanning could have a word with England star Natalie Sciver (who also played for the Stars in WBBL|01 and 02 before moving to Perth) or Irish allrounder Kim Garth, who has moved to Australia and now holds a Victorian state contract.
"I’ve had discussions with Trent and over the last few days trying to work out what we want the team to look like and what specific players and skills we need to make our team successful," Lanning said
"We’re looking at many options that are out there and how they can fit into what we need.
"I think there’ll potentially be quite a bit of movement this year … that’s a really exciting thing for the competition that people are willing to move for opportunity and there is plenty of opportunity.
"There’s certainly some players we’ll target and build to build a really strong team."
The Stars list currently comprises the top-order batting talents of Lanning and former Australia player Elyse Villani, alongside recent international debutante Annabel Sutherland.
Leg-spinner Alana King and young wicketkeeper Nicole Faltum round out the roster.
No overseas players are currently tied to the club. Last year, they fielded South Africans Lizelle Lee and Mignon du Preez, and New Zealand’s Katey Martin.
Meg Lanning in green, sit back and enjoy 💚#TeamGreen pic.twitter.com/xZw16PCV6Z— Melbourne Stars (@StarsBBL) July 22, 2020
Martin seems unlikely to return after being dropped for the latter parts of WBBL|05 for Faltum, while the presence of Lanning and Villani at the top of the order may see them look for an allrounder or middle-order batter instead of an established opener like Lee.
Lanning also it had not yet been decided who would captain the Stars this summer. Villani took over from the now-retired Kristen Beams in WBBL|05, while Lanning has captained in all four Big Bash seasons she has played.