When a player like Meg Lanning needs to call for a break, it should ring alarm bells | Megan Maurice

Meg Lanning is never one to give much away. An intensely private person, she is known for predictable answers in interviews and her aversion to team meetings. She is a woman of few words and has emerged as a cricketing machine over the years.

Apart from a brief stint on the sidelines due to shoulder surgery following the 2017 World Cup, Lanning has been an ever-present figure in the game since making his debut in late 2010 at the age of 18. During her time with the team, the profile of women’s cricket rose exponentially, exposing Lanning to greater media and public attention – something that never seemed to sit quite comfortably for a player who preferred to keep her exploits on the cricket field. speaking.

It was therefore perhaps surprising that she was asked to take on more responsibility and visibility in January 2014 when Lanning was promoted to captain at the age of 21 following the retirement of Jodie Fields, having never held a senior position. level before. The marketing deal Lanning – with Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Holly Ferling – received to essentially become the faces of women’s cricket in Australia led to even more time in the public eye and more pressure to be one of the ” golden girls’ in Australia. sport.

That pressure only increased in the wake of the 2018 sandpaper scandal involving the Australian men’s team, when the very culture of cricket was called into question and Cricket Australia hastily turned to its sparkling women’s team – which has never been embroiled in any scandals – in an effort to to divert attention from men’s bad behavior.

The cumulative effect of all this – the role in front of the public, the increased visibility of the sport and the pressure to maintain not only the team’s performance but its squeaky clean image – may have led to this point. Lanning is taking an indefinite break from cricket. In a written statement, she put it as succinctly and succinctly as anyone would expect.

“After a busy few years, I decided to take a step back to focus on myself,” she said. “I am grateful for the support of CA and my teammates and ask that my privacy be respected during this time.”

We may never know exactly why Lanning is taking this break. Nor should we expect it. But unlike many of her multi-sport counterparts who have taken breaks, it doesn’t seem likely that Lanning will do a divulging interview to open up or even just explain that she really wants to spend the summer at the beach instead of on the cricket field once in a lifetime.

Meg Lanning jumps Jesse Jonassen and Alyssa Healy after Australia won Commonwealth Games gold.
Meg Lanning jumps Jesse Jonassen and Alyssa Healy after Australia won Commonwealth Games gold. Photo by Dave Hunt/EPA

The reason for Lanning’s hiatus isn’t necessarily important, though. The lessons that can be learned from a player at the top of his game who needs to take time off are important. For someone so entrenched in cricket, who seems to love being at the center with the bat in hand, the need to step back and take time out for whatever reason is worth pondering.

The professionalism of women’s cricket – and women’s sport more broadly – has come relatively quickly, and while it has yet to reach the level of men’s sport, it is in stark contrast to what the young Lanning would have experienced in her early days in the team. Naturally, with higher salaries came higher expectations—more touring, more public appearances, more media time.

For a man traversing the paths of high performance, this is understood and expected. They are prepared for the pressures of public life and know exactly what they are getting into. For young women who entered the arena in the amateur era and grew up to be professionals, it is more of a proverbial frog in a pot of water. The water started out cold but slowly boiled over time without anyone realizing what a difference it made.

Increased professionalism for women’s sports is clearly a good thing. But a player of Lanning’s stature needing to ask for a break should send alarm bells around professional women’s sports. It should make organizations look at their schedules and ask themselves: are we allowing enough breaks so that our players don’t have to publicly step down to rest?

Hopefully, Lanning will be back in time, refreshed and ready to once again destroy opposition bowling attacks with her cover drive. But maybe this time she — and the other hard-working women she leads — will have more rest and recovery built into their plans to stay on top for as long as they want.

#player #Meg #Lanning #call #break #ring #alarm #bells #Megan #Maurice

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.