Meg Lanning: Former Australia captain says weight loss and insomnia led to international retirement

Australia women celebrate winning the T20 World Cup in 2023
Meg Lanning (centre with trophy) took a break in 2022 before returning to win the T20 World Cup in February 2023

Meg Lanning says that her relationship with food and exercise “spiralled” and led to her surprise international retirement.

She said that she was running up to 90 kilometres a week and only eating two small meals a day.

“I was over-exercising and under-fuelling,” Lanning told the Howie Games podcast.

“It sort of just spiralled and I was in denial, even though everyone kept telling me something wasn’t quite right.

“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.”

Lanning retired as one of the sport’s most successful players and captains, leading her side to 50-over World Cup glory in 2022, four T20 titles and Commonwealth Games gold in 2022.

She made her Australia debut in 2010 aged 18 and went on to make 241 international appearances for her country.

But towards the end of her glittering career, Lanning said things were “out of whack” and she became “a different person” as a result.

“It became a bit of an obsession,” she added. “It was a way I could escape mentally. I would throw the headphones in. I wouldn’t take my phone with me. I really liked that because I felt like I was in control.”

Lanning says she did not label it as an eating disorder but she did seek help, and now says she is in “a good spot” after also struggling with insomnia.

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

“I disengaged a lot from friends and family. I didn’t realise that I was doing this and it sort of became a new normal.

“But I’ve really started to understand how actually talking to people and letting people know can actually help.”

Lanning continues to play domestic cricket, having recently led Delhi Capitals to the Women’s Premier League final and she was signed by London Spirit to play in The Hundred for the first time this summer.

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