Ahead of the Women’s Ashes, Australian skipper Meg Lanning has been ruled out of the series citing medical issues. In the multi-format series, which debuts on June 22, Alyssa Healy will serve as the team’s captain. After taking a long sabbatical from the game to take care of her mental health, Lanning started playing again in January.
She then helped Australia win the T20 World Cup in South Africa in March before participating in the first edition of the Women’s Premier League. Lanning was named captain of the Delhi Capitals, and she led the team brilliantly as they made it to the first-ever finals of the WPL, but eventually lost the summit clash against Mumbai Indians.
“It’s an unfortunate setback for Meg and she’s obviously disappointed to have been ruled out of the Ashes; it’s a significant series for the team and she’ll be missed, but she understands the need to put her health first,” said Shawn Flegler, Cricket Australia’s head of performance for women’s cricket.
“Meg will remain at home where she will continue to work with medical staff with the aim to return to playing as soon as possible. We ask that Meg’s privacy is respected at this time,” he added.
This will be the second Ashes series that Lanning will miss following the 2017-18 series, where she was forced to sit out owing to a shoulder injury. Healy took over as captain last year when Lanning was on break from international cricket last year, and this time again, Tahlia McGrath will serve as the vice-captain.
With Australia A traveling concurrently for the first portion of the trip, Australia won’t substitute Lanning in the Ashes team but can still add players if needed. Lanning’s departure will leave a sizable gap in the top spot across all forms that must be filled. Healy has stated she will consider moving down the order to manage her workload, so there may be a substantial rejigging for the Test match.
“On the advice of CA medical staff, Lanning has been withdrawn from the squad due to a medical issue which requires management from home. A timeline for Lanning’s return to play will become clearer in due course,” CA said in their statement.