Australia captain Meg Lanning retired from women’s international cricket at the age of just 31. Having captained Australia across all formats for almost a decade, Lanning’s illustrious career is marked by numerous milestones and a legacy that has left an indelible mark on Australia’s women’s cricket.

As captain, Lanning led Australia to unprecedented heights, clinching four T20 World Cups, an ODI World Cup, and a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. With a total of seven World Cups under her belt as a player, she is the highest run-scorer in Australia’s women’s cricket history, having accumulated 8,352 runs in 241 international games at an average of 53.51 – the highest in women’s cricket. She struck 17 international centuries, 15 in ODI cricket, and 10 in chases, all records, and is widely considered one of the greatest batters in women’s cricket history.

Lanning’s leadership prowess was instrumental in moulding the most dominant international side in the history of women’s cricket. Her tenacity and strategic acumen shone through as she recorded 146 victories across formats, a record in women’s international cricket. Her unbeaten streak of 35 matches as Australia’s captain, the longest in international cricket history, underscores the sheer dominance of the juggernaut side that she built.

After two health-related breaks in the past 18 months, Lanning has decided to retire from international cricket, explaining that she feels she has nothing more to achieve, and has lost the spark to continue. Opting to put herself first, Lanning will continue to play domestic cricket, and she is currently in action for Melbourne Stars in the Women’s Big Bash League.

Let’s reflect eight defining moments throughout her illustrious international career.

1. Bursting onto the scene: A precocious 18-year-old, Lanning announced her arrival on the international stage in 2010, becoming the youngest Australian to score a hundred in international cricket with a sensational 104* against England, a record she still holds.

2. Record-breaking century: In 2012, Lanning rewrote record books, smashing the fastest ODI century in women’s cricket history. Her 45-ball century against the White Ferns showcased her attacking prowess, redefining expectations in women’s cricket.

3. T20 World Cup Triumph: Lanning played a pivotal role in Australia’s defence of the T20 World Cup crown in Sri Lanka in 2012, and lifted her maiden international title. She made a crucial runs in the final contributing to a thrilling three-run victory over England.

4. 2013 ODI World Cup Glory: Months later, Lanning showcased her mettle in the ODI World Cup in India, scoring a scintillating 112 against New Zealand in the group stage. Lanning lifted the biggest prize in women’s cricket after Australia resoundingly defeated West Indies in the final.

5. International captaincy at just 21: In 2014, Lanning became Australia’s youngest-ever captain at the age of 21, embarking on a captaincy journey that spanned 182 matches and solidified her as one of the most successful leaders in Australia’s sporting history.

Cricket Australia astutely recognised Lanning’s leadership prowess and bravely appointed her at a young age. Their gamble paid off handsomely, as she ushered in one of the most dominant eras in sporting history.

6. Highest international score: Lanning struck a breathtaking 152* against Sri Lanka in a World Cup clash. Chasing down 258, she exhibited class and composure, guiding her team to victory, and recording the highest score in a chase in a women’s ODI.

7. Commonwealth Games Gold: Steering Australia to gold in the inaugural women’s cricket event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Lanning’s leadership was instrumental in an undefeated campaign.

8. World Cup Redemption: Overcoming the setback of missing out on the 2016 T20 World Cup and 2017 ODI World Cup and persistent shoulder problems, Lanning returned as a mature and complete captain, culminating in lifting the Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2022. Her composed captaincy and stellar individual performances paved the way for a crushing 71-run victory over England in the final.

As Meg Lanning bids farewell to international cricket, her legacy as a trailblazer, record-breaker, and inspirational leader will resonate for generations to come.