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Meg Lanning retires from international cricket

Lanning makes the shock decision to retire at age 31 having missed Australia last three series due to a medical issue

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
Meg Lanning with her fourth T20 World Cup trophy  •  ICC/Getty Images

Meg Lanning with her fourth T20 World Cup trophy  •  ICC/Getty Images

Meg Lanning has made the shock decision to retire from international cricket effective immediately, aged 31.
Australia's captain had not played for her country since lifting the T20 World Cup in South Africa in February. She missed Australia's tour of the UK due to an undisclosed medical issue and did not play in the recent T20I and ODI series against West Indies despite being fit, having returned to play WNCL cricket for Victoria.
Lanning is currently captaining the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL and appears set to continue to play domestic cricket.
"The decision to step away from international cricket was a difficult one to make, but I feel now is the right time for me," Lanning said. "I've been incredibly fortunate to enjoy a 13-year international career, but I know now is the right time for me to move on to something new.
"Team success is why you play the game, I'm proud of what I have been able to achieve and will cherish the moments shared with team-mates along the way.
"I'd like to thank my family, my teammates, Cricket Victoria, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association for their support to allow me to play the game I love at the highest level. I also want to say a huge thank you to all the fans who have supported me throughout my international career."
Lanning has taken several breaks from cricket in recent seasons for a variety of issues. In 2022, following Australia's Commonwealth Games triumph, she took a leave of absence from the game and worked as a barista at a local coffee shop in Melbourne. She missed Australia's tour in India in December of that year before returning for the build-up to the 2023 T20 World Cup.
Lanning made her international debut as an 18-year-old in 2010 and has played 241 matches for Australia including six Tests, 103 ODIs and 132 T20Is. She will go down as one of the most successful captains in cricket history having captained Australia to four T20 World Cup titles, an ODI World Cup title and a Commonwealth Games title. She led her country in 182 matches across her career having been handed the role as a 21-year-old in 2014.
She became the youngest Australian female to score a century, aged 18, when she made 104 not out more than nine.
Of the 11 women with more than 4000 ODI runs, Lanning has the highest average of 53.51, with India's Mithali Raj the only other player to average over 50. She also had a staggering strike rate of 92.20.
Lanning is the second-highest run-scorer in women's T20I history behind Bates. She made 3405 runs at 36.61, striking at 116.37, with two centuries.
The only thing missing from her glittering personal resume was a Test century. She played just six Tests in a 13-year career and only made two half-centuries with a highest score of 93 against England in 2022.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley paid tribute to Lanning after her announcement.
"One of the finest cricketers Australia has produced, Meg's supreme achievements with the bat have been matched by her inspiring leadership," Hockley said.
"As one of the best players in the world over a long period of time, Meg has made an immeasurable impact and led a generation which has helped revolutionise the game.
"Under Meg's leadership, the Australian women's cricket team has built a legacy of global dominance and has been at the forefront of growing the game and inspiring the next generation of cricketers all around the world.
"A seven-time World Cup winner and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Meg retires from international cricket having achieved everything there is to achieve and we thank her for the immense contribution she has made.
"We look forward to celebrating Meg's distinguished international career at an appropriate time."

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo