Melbourne, Nov 9: Meg Lanning, Australia’s seven-time World Cup winning captain, said she got clarity in the last few days to decide upon retiring from international cricket and on making the decision, she added that relief came over when she was fully sure of the call.
Meg, 31, made the announcement on Thursday that she would be retiring from international cricket with immediate effect, bringing an end to a glorious 13-year career of playing and captaining Australia to greater heights.
"Realistically, it's something I've been thinking about for a while. I've come to the realisation that I've probably been trying to convince myself a little bit over the last 18 months why I should keep playing and what it is that I want to achieve."
"I'm not someone who can do things half in, half out (and) I've battled away a little bit trying to work all that out. But it became quite clear, particularly in the last couple of days, that this was the right call and what I'm ready for ... it's time. And since I've made the decision, I've felt a little bit relieved to have made a call and be a little bit clearer on what the next little bit looks like," an emotional Meg was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Meg will continue to play for Melbourne Stars in the WBBL and Victoria in the WNCL, apart from featuring for Delhi Capitals in the WPL. Her last appearance for Australia came in leading them to another Women’s T20 World Cup title in South Africa in February this year, a month after returning to the game in January. But Meg missed playing women’s Ashes due to an undisclosed medical issue.
"I tried to make it work, I took some time to step away a little bit and be outside the cricket bubble ... and that's given me the opportunity to think about what else is out there. (Cricket's) all I've ever known really for 13 years, and I've given everything to being as good as I can to help the team win. Now it's time to focus on myself and to go and see what else is out there. And what that is, I'm not sure," she added.
Meg, who also led Australia to its maiden gold medal in the Commonwealth Games, stated that she will have an open mind in seeing what her next adventure will be. "I certainly haven't got anything worked out ... but now I've got the freedom to go and explore different things and see what pans out."
"(I'm feeling) excitement, it's scary, too. There's so much structure in cricket, you know where to be all the time, your weeks are planned and you don't really make a lot of decisions for yourself."
"But over the last 18 months, I've actually experienced that stepping back and getting out of that bubble a little bit … so I don't think it's as big a jump as what it might seem, I've probably already been there for a little while."
The right-handed batter signed off by saying she will miss the competitive edge of being in international cricket. "The competitive side in me will always be there – I always looked forward to big tournaments and big games. I felt like that really brought the best out of me and I've really prided myself on holding my nerve under pressure and being able to perform when the team needed me."
"The nerves and unique feeling around big games and World Cups ... you feel sick heading in and nervous but then when you get out there, that's what you play for and that's why you want to do it. I love that challenge and that's probably still there it's just everything else that comes with it which is the bit that I've got nothing left to give. (IANS)