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Lanning reveals struggles that led to her early retirement

The former Australia skipper has discussed some of the ongoing issues she faced during her international career

Former Australia captain Meg Lanning has revealed some of the struggles she endured during her international career that eventually led to a shock retirement last year.

Lanning caused a major surprise when she retired from international cricket in November last year, with the then 31-year-old still at the top of her game and considered one of the best batters in the world and among the most industrious captains in the game.

The Australia great - who won a whopping five ICC Women's T20 World Cup titles and two ICC Women's Cricket World Cup trophies, six of those as captain - spoke on Australian podcast The Howie Games about some of the challenges throughout her career the lengths she would go to just to cope.

Australia lift the Women's World Cup trophy

Lanning said she used exercise as an outlet to help deal with her struggles, but admitted she wasn't providing her body with enough food to combat the increase in running she would perform.

“I was over exercising and under fuelling. I got to the point where I was doing about 85-90km a week. I was in denial. It became a bit of ‘I am going to show you’ sort of thing,” Lanning said. 

“It sort of just spiralled. I was not in a place to be able to go on tour and play cricket and give the commitment levels required for that (2023) Ashes series mentally and physically.

“I am naturally fine spending time with myself but there were very few people who I would want to engage with. I would get really snappy – real moody – if anyone asked anything. I got down to 57kg from 64kg. It wasn’t ridiculous (but it was) significant. The ratios were out of whack. I did not realise (it affected) my ability to concentrate. I didn’t really want to see other people. I disengaged a lot from friends and family.

“It (running) became a bit of an obsession. I could escape mentally. I would throw the headphones in but would not take my phone with me. I would have my Apple watch with me and listen to music. Nobody could contact me.”

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Lanning believes it would have been easy for her teammates to notice a difference in her demeanour, not only with her appearance, but also with how she mixed with her peers.

“I think they knew something was up,” Lanning admitted. 

“I couldn’t see anything in my appearance but (others) could see it. And everything that comes with it. You become grumpy. Not talking to many people. Not being able to concentrate. Not sleeping. Your head just goes round and round and it’s not a nice place to be.

“I dreaded night-time because I knew I would go to bed and not be able to sleep. That would make me so mad. I would just get more angry with myself. If you can’t sleep you can’t do anything.

“I’ve learnt that regardless of who you are there is always something happening. I guess I have realised how much telling to people and letting them know can actually help even if they don’t have an answer.”