Meg Lanning reveals insomnia and weight loss struggles that led to shock cricket retirement

Meg Lanning retired from international cricket before the 2023 Women’s Ashes

Ian Ransom
Thursday 18 April 2024 10:11 BST
Meg Lanning won one 50-over World Cup and four T20 ones during her time as captain
Meg Lanning won one 50-over World Cup and four T20 ones during her time as captain (Getty Images)

Former Australia women’s captain Meg Lanning said she struggled with weight loss and insomnia before her shock retirement from international cricket last year.

Lanning, who won the T20 World Cup five times and the 50-overs edition twice, pulled out of the Women’s Ashes last year for medical reasons and quit the national team in November.

The 32-year-old told the Howie Games podcast that she was grappling with an identity crisis away from the sport and that her diet and training regime had become unbalanced.

"It sort of just spiralled," said Lanning, who described running up to 90km a week while eating only two small meals a day.

"I was not in a place to be able to go on tour and play cricket and give the commitment levels required for that Ashes series, mentally and physically.

"I got down to about 57kg from 64kg. The ratios were out of whack a lot.

"It was just all out of whack and I kept sliding. At some point, it’s got to stop."

Lanning made her decision to retire as one of the sport’s most decorated players and captains, leading an all-dominant Australia side to 50-over World Cup victory in 2022, four T20 World Cup titles, and a Commonwealth Games gold in 2022.

The batter burst onto the scene at the age of 18, when she made her debut in 2010 and went on to make 241 appearances for Australia across all competitions.

She said she also struggled with insomnia and at one point was getting only a couple of hours’ sleep each night.

"I dreaded night time because I knew I would go to bed and not be able to sleep," she said.

"That would make me so mad. I would just get more angry with myself. If you can’t sleep, you can’t do anything."

Lanning has continued to play domestic cricket, and recently led the Delhi Capitals to the Women’s Premier League final, and has been signed by London Spirit to play in The Hundred this upcoming summer.

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