Annabel Sutherland hopes that the rumours of Meg Lanning’s return to Melbourne Stars become true and that will end their title drought. The Stars finished fifth in the first two seasons of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), when Lanning was with the side before joining Perth Scorchers. Post that, Stars languished at the bottom in two of the next three season.
“I haven’t spoken to (Lanning) about it but if she were to come it’d be pretty good to have the Australian captain a part of the group,” said Sutherland.
Stars are yet to make the finals of the competition and it’s the longest time a team hasn’t reached the title-clash across BBL and WBBL. A replacement for David Hemp, Stars’ coach, is yet to be announced and that coupled with speculation of Lanning’s return has spiked hopes of change in Stars’ fortunes.
“It’d certainly be a big boost for our batting line-up and I guess leadership as a whole is probably something we’ve lacked over the last few years. Having someone like Meg would be very exciting so hopefully those rumours are true.”
Lanning herself had said after the T20 World Cup win that she hadn’t given it a thought because of the world tournament. In the interim, Leah Poulton had signed up as Stars’ head coach, but left within a month to be the Head of Female cricket at New South Wales.
As of now, only Elyse Villani, Holly Ferling, Alana King and Nicole Faltum apart from Sutherland are contracted with the Stars for the coming season. The teenaged allrounder is hopeful of ending their poor record.
“There’s no shying away from us not having made finals,” said Sutherland. “As a group we’ve missed out on that consistency of performance so we’re certainly looking forward to getting into the Big Bash and hopefully we can string some wins together.”
“We’ll obviously have a new coach and I think that gets announced soon. We’re looking forward to getting together and I know there’s a couple of players who are contracted and are looking forward to being part of the group for a couple of years. We’re all really motivated and keen to put together a good squad and one that can hopefully win some more games than we have previously.”