Anna Lanning’s dream is to one day play a Test match; that would mean she could stop stealing Meg’s Baggy Green.
“I always joke that she never let me bat but she probably bowled me out a fair few times too,” Lanning said.
Like many of the younger siblings in Australia’s backyards, Anna Lanning’s time was spent ball in hand toiling away to elder Meg.
The VicSpirit - and recently signed Melbourne Stars - all-rounder developed her game around batting, bowling and fielding, but there was something stopping her from elevating the sibling rivalry to sledging matches.
“The sibling rivalry wasn’t too bad, Meg and I are pretty close, it’s quite hard to say something when she is the best batter in the world, I wouldn’t have a leg to stand.”
Anna and Meg’s succinct techniques are put down to their gun-barrel straight driveway in suburban Sydney, where the rule was stay away from the off-side and the house or feel that parental wrath.
“Meg and I used to play in the front yard up in Sydney which is the size of a cricket pitch…I never used to get a bat cause Meg was always hogging it, our strip used to be right near the window so she would have to play straight to avoid the house or our parents would get mad, I guess that is why Meg is so technically good cause she had to play so straight.”
Anna was no slouch as a junior cricketer, despite her quickness to complement her sibling and current Australian captain Meg, playing as a state representative from 13 through to her senior selection with the VicSpirit five years ago.
Here immediate goals don't waiver from anyone else in the state system though.
“I want to cement my spot in the Spirit team, I think I’ve had a few consistent years at club level, hopefully I can keep doing that and then the selectors take note and I end up playing for Australia.”
“It’s always quite tricky with the team being so strong at the moment, it’s going to be pretty hard to break into that squad but I think you need to have a bit of an edge to you, I feel like I have the three facets to my game – batting, bowling and fielding – and I’ve got a bit of personality about me so hopefully that helps too.”
What’s Anna’s advice for the next generation about to take the plunge from Backyard to Baggy Green?
“Follow your passion, women’s cricket has grown a lot in the past decade, just keep following your passion. If it’s something you want to do just go for it.”
Visit www.playcricket.com.au to find your nearest club and get started on the journey from Backyard to Baggy Green.