Australia captain Meg Lanning was ruled out of the women’s Ashes tournament due to medical problems, in a blow to the team’s defense of the ballot box.
Lanning only returned to cricket in January after a mental four-month hiatus, but led Australia to triumph at the women’s Twenty20 World Cup in March.
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The 31-year-old played in the first Women’s Premier League in India but will not be available for the UK tour.
Lanning was withdrawn from the squad on the advice of medical staff, according to Shawn Flegler, head coach for women’s cricket performances at Cricket Australia.
“It’s an unfortunate setback for Meg and she’s obviously disappointed to have been left out of the Ashes; “It’s a significant series for the team and we will miss her, but she understands that her health must come first,” said Flegler.
“Meg will stay at home and continue to work with the medical staff with the aim of getting back playing as soon as possible.
“We ask that Meg’s privacy be respected at this time.”
Lanning is one of the all-time greats in women’s cricket. She has scored 17 international centuries and led Australia on an incredible winning streak.
She has been a member of two winning ODI World Cup squads (2013 and 2022) and five winning T20 World Cup squads in 2012, 2014, 2018, 20 and 23.
During her break from playing last year, the star batter spoke of needing to talk to others and spent time overseas.
Dashing wicketkeeper and batswoman Alyssa Healy will become the captain of Australia in the Ashes, with all-rounder Tahlia McGrath becoming vice-captain.
Lanning will not be replaced in the squad due to the UK’s Australia A tour, with players always available for the Ashes if required.
The one-off women’s test begins June 22 in Nottingham, with three T20s and three ODIs to follow in the multi-format series.
Australia have retained the Ashes in the last four series, with Lanning’s team not losing a game in the last competition in 2021/22.