Australian captain Meg Lanning has been ruled out of the Women’s Ashes series due to medical issues. Alyssa Healy will serve as the team commander in the multi-format series, which will debut on June 22. Lanning resumed playing the game in January after taking a lengthy break to focus on her mental health.
In March, she helped Australia win the T20 World Cup in South Africa before competing in the inaugural Women’s Premier League. Lanning was named captain of the Delhi Capitals, and she led the team admirably as they reached the inaugural WPL finals, but ultimately fell to the 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 Cricket Australia’s head of performance for women’s cricket, Shawn Flegler.
“Meg will continue to work with medical staff at home with the goal of returning to playing as soon as feasible. At this time, we ask that Meg’s privacy be respected,” he added.
This will be the second Ashes series that Lanning will miss, following the 2017-18 series in which a shoulder injury forced her to sit out. Tahlia McGrath will once again serve as vice-captain, as Healy took over as captain when Lanning took a hiatus from international cricket last year.
Australia will not substitute Lanning in the Ashes selection, but can still add players if necessary. The departure of Lanning will leave a sizeable void at the summit of all required forms. Healy has stated that, in order to manage her workload, she will contemplate dropping in the batting order, so there may be significant reorganization for the Test match.
“On the recommendation of CA medical staff, Lanning has been withdrawn from the squad due to a medical condition that necessitates management from home. The timeline for Lanning’s return to action will become clearer in due time, according to a statement released by CA.