Three seasons after leaving Melbourne Stars for Perth Scorchers, it looks like Australia skipper Meg Lanning is set to return to her home team for the sixth season on the Women’s Big Bash League. On Tuesday (May 12), Foxsports.com.au reported that Lanning has “verbally agreed to rejoin Stars.”
After her contract with Scorchers ended last season, it was expected that the 28-year-old would return to Melbourne in 2020-21. The only speculation was whether she would sign with Stars or Renegades, Cricket Victoria sources said.
“I hadn’t really thought about it through the World Cup, it was on the backburner,” Lanning had earlier said about her WBBL future. “It’s probably a good thing that I get a bit of time to work out what I’m after … and where I’m best suited. So I’m not sure at this stage … I really enjoyed my three years in Perth.”
Despite missing the third season of the WBBL – her first with Perth Scorchers – due to a shoulder injury, Lanning is one of the most successful batters in the competition with 1982 runs to her credit in only 51 matches. She sits sixth on the run charts, with 19 half centuries – second only to Beth Mooney – and one century.
The right-hander will boost the Stars’ batting unit, that was strengthened last season by the signing of Elyse Villani. Annabel Sutherland, the young allrounder who recently made her international debut for Australia, is also a part of the Stars set up.
Never one to sit still, Lanning has been using the enforced break to catch up on some studying. She was also recently involved in an interaction with the Ireland women’s squad, providing them with a virtual batting masterclass alongside former Ireland skipper Isobel Joyce and Australia head coach Matthew Mott. She discussed mindset, shot selection, and more during the session that was conducted over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the Stars are still in the hunt for a head coach after Leah Poulton resigned from the position to accept a full-time role at Cricket New South Wales. She had been roped in by the club to replace David Hemp who coached the team since the inaugural season of the WBBL in 2015.
Former Australia men’s Test spinner, Michael Beer, who served as Hemp’s assistant last season, is being thought of as a potential candidate for the top spot.