Meg Lanning to return to Australia’s squad for Pakistan ODIs

Meg Lanning to return to Australia’s squad for Pakistan ODIs

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Meg Lanning announced her decision to step away for a break due to personal reasons.

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Meg Lanning, Australia’s all-format captain and arguably the all-time best batter in women’s cricket will finally return to international cricket, ending her 'indefinite break' from the sport since August. Lanning will lead Australia in their coming ODI series against Pakistan, starting next month.

In August, Meg Lanning announced her decision to step away for a break due to personal reasons after leading Australia to win the gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The 30-year-old will be back in action on January 16 when Australia will play at home against Pakistan for the first ODI in three-match series. However, Alyssa Healy, who took over the Australian captaincy for the recent tour of India, will miss the Pakistan series following the calf strain she recently picked up. In her absence, Beth Mooney will take the big gloves.

"Sometimes you just have to hit pause, step back and take a breathe. That's certainly what I needed. The past 6 months have taught me a lot. I've learnt so much about myself and who and what is important to me," " Lanning wrote on Instagram soon after the squad announcement.

"I've always played my cards pretty close to my chest. This experience has given me a greater appreciation of how opening up and talking to the people that care about you really can make the tough times feel easier. It's ok to ask for help and admit that you don't have everything under control.”

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Australia, meanwhile, have retained Jess Jonassen in their 13-member squad. However, she must prove her fitness for the ODIs having picked up a hamstring injury in Mumbai. Kim Garth and Phoebe Litchfield have kept their places from their recent T20I squad in India as well. Among the notable absentees, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, and Amanda-Jade Wellington have been left out.

Tahlia McGrath, who captained the final T20I in India after Healy's injury, will continue as vice-captain, this time as Lanning’s deputy.

Australia squad for Pakistan ODIs: Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Jess Jonassen (subject to fitness), Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland

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