Meg Lanning, Australia’s three-time T20 World Cup-winning captain, is keen to “make best use” of this enforced break to keep herself busy by going back to school. With Australia – and much of the rest of the world – on lockdown due to to fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic, a generally active Lanning, has been forced to stay indoors – something that is taking a bit of getting used to. She has, however, set up a home gym to help her stay fit through this period.
After clinching the World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground a little over three weeks ago, Lanning planned to spend her off-season going on road trips and playing golf games, but has had to alter her plans because of the crises. The 28-year-old said she will now continue with her Level Three coaching course that was put on hold for around 18 months because of the World Cup.
The cricket coaching course aside, Lanning also plans to begin a university degree in business and sports management, to help extend her knowledge and interests beyond game itself.
“I struggle doing nothing,” she said during a video conference on Monday (March 30).
“I’ll look to lock that (uni course) in next week. Once I’ve done that, it will settle me down a bit once I’ve got something to focus on.”
“I love to get outdoors and be active and spend time doing that, so I’ve had to adjust that. I’ve got a home gym set-up that I feel will keep me going. I’ll certainly go stir crazy if I can’t do any exercise.”
Keeping the trend of leading from the front, the Australian skipper is also keen to help her teammates deal with the uncertainty surrounding the resumption of cricket, and life in general. With the lockdown having been announced barely days after the T20 World Cup final, Lanning admitted the sport (and tournament’s) good fortune.
She spoke of the team’s attempt to keep in touch and stay as close as possible by embracing technology during this time of social distancing.
“We’ve got a virtual meeting booked in for Friday where anyone can jump on and have a chat about cricket, not cricket, anything like that,” she said. “Cricket’s not immune. For the moment, we’re lucky because of the timing, but the uncertainty about how long this is going to last for is certainly playing on people’s minds.”
“It’s a very important time to look after people and to make sure they’re coping mentally and physically and there’s been a lot of chat about how we can best do that. We feel like we’re pretty well resourced in that aspect. All the medical staff and coaching staff have been looking out for us and communicating really well and also the players as well.”
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While making sure to stay in shape and be ready for the resumption of ‘life as usual’, Lanning admitted that cricket is unlikely to resume any time soon. This means, the Women’s T20 Challenge matches scheduled to be played during the men’s IPL knockout matches in Jaipur, will most likely be called off.
Although several male cricketers have spoken about wanting to be ready to play in a truncated IPL, Lanning it seems, is being more realistic.
“At this stage, it’s probably looking very unlikely. We haven’t really had any communication around it from anyone in India, so it’s a bit of a wait and see. But at this stage, I’m expecting it not to go ahead,” she concluded.