Meghann Moira Lanning
March 25, 1992, Singapore
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
Top order batter
Aptly nicknamed "the Megastar", Meg Lanning has achieved an incredible amount. In 2006 she became the first girl to play first XI cricket for a Public Schools team when she represented Carey Grammar at the age of 14. Her ODI debut came in 2011 against England, and in only her second game, she scored an unbeaten 103, becoming at 18 years and 288 days old the youngest Australian - male or female - to score an international century. A year later, in an ODI against New Zealand, she broke the record for the fastest century by an Australian, racking up her ton in a mere 45 balls.
Recognised as having a great cricket brain, in January 2014 Lanning became the youngest ever captain of Australia (aged 21) mid-Ashes after an injury to Jodie Fields. She led from the front to finish as her side's top run-scorer in the series. In April that year she led her team to their third consecutive T20 World Cup title, putting up a ferocious performance with the bat: she hit 44 in the final, and in the group match against Ireland, in a breathtaking performance, she slammed 126 off 65 balls. At the time that was the highest score in Women's T20Is and in 2019 Lanning would break her own record with 133 not out against England, although a few months later would lose top spot to team-mate Alyssa Healy.
Thanks to her trademark aggressive style with the bat, Lanning can truly claim to be one of women's cricket's household names. 2015 brought the excitement of being named as Wisden's inaugural Leading Female Cricketer in the World, as well as captaining her side to victory in the 2015 Ashes series. Lanning's fresh, innovative approach to captaincy was praised, particularly during the Canterbury Test match, which her side won by 161 runs.
There then followed a couple of years where Australia did not have things all their own way, losing to West Indies in the 2016 World T20 final and being knocked out of the 2017 ODI World Cup in the semis by Harmanpreet Kaur spectacular century during which Lanning was hampered by a long-standing shoulder injury that would ultimately rule her out of the 2017-18 Ashes.
However, since then she has overseen one of the most dominant eras in Australian sport as she led the team to a record unbeaten run in ODIs and back-to-back T20 World Cup triumphs, firstly in the West Indies and then a crowning moment for her career - regardless of what is still to come - when she lifted the trophy in front of more than 86,000 people at the MCG in early 2020.
Raf Nicholson and ESPNcricinfo staff
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