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“You never know if you don’t try!” How Meg Lanning became the hero we didn’t know we needed

“When it comes to women in sport, there’s always barriers or people saying or thinking that you shouldn’t be doing something…”

By Ellie McDonald
How Meg Lanning became the hero we didn’t know we needed

Here's the thing about Aussie cricketer Meg Lanning: like the rest of us, she loves coffee. But Meg is different from most women in Australia; born-in-Singapore, raised-in-Oz Lanning also happens to be the youngest-ever cricketer, male or female, to score a century for Australia, and was made captain of Australia at just 21 years of age.Oh, and she is widely thought of as the world's best female cricketer.

Meg, doing what she does best.
Meg, doing what she does best.

But while Lanning is used to strategically striking sixes over fences and leading the Aussie cricket team to victory, it's important to recognise how far women's sport has come in recent years.

Women's cricket is coming leaps and bound(arie)s with players, like Lanning, being offered full-time salaries to train and develop their skills, just like their male counterparts.

FINALLY women's games are being televised on commercial television networks and players, including Lanning, are becoming household names.

She's played with/beaten the boys at what used to be their own game, now bright-eyed and blonde-ponytailed Lanning has her eyes set on what's set to be "a very busy 2018". That is, once she overcomes what some elite athletes are forced to face at the peak of their career: a season-halting injury.

Here, humble yet "competitive" Lanning tells us what we can all learn from her cricketing career and apply to our own lives: to take stock of what you've got, make self-care a priority and be relentless in your pursuit of achieving your dreams.

Meg Lanning with fellow cricketing star Ellyse Perry.
Meg Lanning with fellow cricketing star Ellyse Perry.

On looking after your mental health

I'm someone who likes to have everything under control – even when I don't, I sometimes pretend that I do.

The key for me was having good people around me to support me through, as well as being really honest about when things may be becoming difficult. I think that's the hardest bit: chatting with people about what you're feeling. Expressing how you feel is a really important thing to do.

On not letting anything stand in the way of what you want to achieve

When it comes to women in sport, there's always barriers or people saying or thinking that you shouldn't be doing something.

I've always given everything I do a go – I played with boys' teams even when I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do. But I really loved it, so I did.

The key is to get yourself out there and jump into things; if they're not right, they're not right.

You never know if you don't try.

Meg is also signed on to play in the Women's Big Bash League's for the Perth Scorchers. To find out how you can catch a WBBL game, visit www.bigbash.com.au/wbbl

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