Meg Lanning returns to lead Australia against Pakistan

by  •  Published on Fri, Dec 23, 2022, 10:34 AM

Australia Women’s captain Meg Lanning will return to international cricket, ending her ‘indefinite break’ from the game. Cricket Australia named a 13-member squad for the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan, starting January 16, where Lanning returns to lead the side and wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy misses out.

“Meg brings so much to the side both on and off the field, and it’s pleasing to welcome her back at such an important time with the T20 World Cup just over a month away,” national selector Shawn Flegler said. .

Lanning had announced her decision to step away for a break due to personal reasons following Australia’s gold medal win at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, where women’s cricket was making its debut.

Healy, who was named captain on the team’s recent five-match T20I tour of India, injured her calf in game 4 that will keep her on the sidelines for Pakistan’s white-ball trip. Beth Mooney, who kept in Healy’s absence, is expected to don the gloves once again while Tahlia McGrath, who led the in the ‘keeper’s absence, had been named Lanning’s deputy for the series.

Jess Jonassen, who suffered a hamstring injury in India, has been retained in the squad and is expected to make full recovery in time for the ODIs that are a part of the ICC Women’s ODI Championship 2022-25.

Former Ireland international Kim Garth, who made her Australia debut in India, and young batter Phoebe Litchfield have both been retained in the squad, making it their maiden call-up to the one-day side. “The Indian series allowed us to blood some new talent and it’s pleasing to be able to retain Kim and Phoebe for this series,” Flegler added.

On the other hand, Heather Graham, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Grace Harris miss out. The trio, however, all remain in contention for selection for the T20I leg of the tour and the upcoming T20 World Cup in South Africa, the squad for which is due to be named.

Australia squad: Meg Lanning (C), Tahlia McGrath (VC), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Jess Jonassen*, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland

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