Meg Lanning on Sunday hailed her team after captaining Australia to their fifth ICC Women’s T20 World Cup title in Melbourne. The skipper has been at the helm for many an Australian success but took that to a new level at the MCG with an 85-run victory over India for their first crown on home soil.
But it was far from an easy journey to the top for Lanning, with a group-stage victory over New Zealand and the semi-final success against South Africa among her most stressful cricket moments.
“This tournament was always going to be massive, we had our ups and downs throughout and everything was thrown at us. To be able to come through and have the complete performance on the biggest stage, it’s something that’s pretty amazing,” she was quoted as saying by the ICC.
“The New Zealand game and the semi-final, that’s the most nervous and sick I’ve felt playing cricket. To get through that, coming in to the final, everyone was a little on edge but it just happened.”
Such was the magnitude of the Melbourne final, Lanning struggled to settle at all prior to the match.
Never before has the women’s game seen a crowd comparable to the 86,174 that packed into the MCG on the International Women’s Day.
But the 27-year-old was calm when it mattered the most — largely thanks to her Australia teammates holding back their own nerves on the big day.
“This day is incredible, we couldn’t have dreamed of this. When the organisers said they wanted to get that many people for the Final, I must admit I was a bit sceptical.
“But you wanted to be there and be involved. There was such a big build-up, all the outside pressure and expectation — we wanted to come and win this tournament but it was something else.
“The way we were able to react and deal with that was testament to the group — this day is certainly the best of my career so far.