Meg Lanning has achieved plenty in her career so far but over the next couple of months, captaining Australia to a Women’s World Cup title is foremost on her list of goals. Australia has a remarkable record at the Women’s World Cup, having won six of the 10 tournaments, but this is Lanning’s first World Cup as skipper.
Jodie Fields led Australia to triumph in the 2013 final against West Indies, and Lanning is one of seven players from this year’s World Cup squad who was also part of the previous winning squad. The Australians are this week training on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in preparation for heading to England for the tournament, and Lanning’s players will this week spend some time with Australia’s previous World Cup winners.
For Lanning, who took over the captaincy in 2014, it is an opportunity to glean a few leadership tips from the likes of Jodie Fields, Belinda Clark and Karen Rolton, the past three captains to guide the Southern Stars to glory.
“I think it’s a great chance to learn from those players who have been there and done it before, probably under some difficult circumstances at times,” Lanning said.
“It definitely wasn’t anywhere near professional when we were winning those World Cups a while ago. We’re very excited as a group to be able to meet the players who have been successful in the past and see if we can learn as much as we can, because World Cups are very special and different to what we’re used to.”
“We’ve been here (on the Sunshine coast) a couple of times now and each time we’ve found the facilities amazing, the hospitality is great and the sun is out as well,” she said. “It gives us the perfect preparation for the World Cup. We’re heading towards match scenarios now, we’ll play a 40-over intra-squad match today. “We’ve done a lot of training in the nets and on specific skill work, but now it’s time to get into the games, which is what we all love,” she added. “There’s going to be some great competition out there.”Australia’s squad this year features several players new to international cricket, including Ashleigh Gardner and Amanda-Jade Wellington, both of whom have made their debuts over the past few months. Teenage fast bowler Belinda Vakarewa is in line for her international debut at the World Cup, and Lanning said she was an exciting talent.