Photo Credit: Melbourne Stars
The Melbourne Stars are pleased to announce Australian Captain Meg Lanning will return home after signing with the club on a three-year deal.
Lanning was the Stars’ inaugural women’s captain, playing 27 matches for the Stars across WBBL|01-02, scoring 1,062 runs at an average above 50. She was the tournament’s leading run scorer in both seasons, before departing to join the Perth Scorchers.
Lanning cited the opportunity to play alongside a young exciting group factored heavily in her decision to re-join the Stars.
“I’d like to thank everyone in Perth for their support during my time there but it’s great to be back in Melbourne for the WBBL.
“I’m proud to have been part of the first couple of years at the Melbourne Stars and I’m looking forward getting back involved with the club. We’ve got an exciting group and I can’t wait to start working with those players and the coaching staff as well.
“Elyse Villani is someone who I’ve always really enjoyed playing with. We’ve also got two very bright talents in Annabel Sutherland and Nic Faltum who have been around for a few years now, so I’m really excited to be able to play alongside them and hopefully help them develop further.
“One of the main drawcards to return to the Stars is to work with Head Coach Trent Woodhill. His knowledge of the T20 game and to have worked with so many great players and different franchises in different tournaments is great experience to have, so I’m certainly looking forward to working with him and seeing what his philosophy is on T20 cricket especially.
“The fact that there’s more WBBL games on broadcast TV than ever before is a great step forward for the game – and to have half the Stars matches on TV is great exposure for our group and something we’re really excited about.”
The 28-year-old joined the Scorchers on a three-year deal ahead of WBBL|03, however was unable to take the field in her first season due to a shoulder injury that saw her miss the entire campaign.
Lanning returns to the Stars under newly appointed WBBL Head Coach Trent Woodhill who is also the list manager for both men’s and women’s squads.
“Having Meg back at the Stars is huge, it’s almost like starting again. It’s the chance for the Stars to reset. We won’t be putting too much pressure on Meg to be the star of the show, but we know Meg is a star of world cricket.
“We want to be able to provide her with the environment where she can thrive, and bring out the best in her by having as much fun as possible through success and establishing a winning culture.”
Melbourne Stars General Manager Nick Cummins was delighted to secure Lanning back at the Stars.
“To be able to attract a player of Meg’s calibre back to the Melbourne Stars is a coup for our club. Having a world-class player like Meg in our group will provide amazing development opportunities for our young up-and-coming stars of the game.
“Although we won’t see her play in Melbourne until later in the season, more Stars WBBL games on broadcast TV than ever before will keep our fans close to the action.”
The Stars will open their WBBL campaign in Perth on the weekend of 17-18 October with matches against the Hobart Hurricanes and Perth Scorchers. The Stars’ season will then be played at a number of interstate venues, culminating in a bumper weekend of matches on 21-22 November, which will see all eight clubs descend on Melbourne to fight it out for a place in the Finals.
The WBBL|06 season is scheduled with more matches than ever before televised live across Australia by the Seven Network and Foxtel, with seven of the Stars’ fourteen home and away games to be broadcast.
Melbourne Stars squad contracted for WBBL|06: Nicole Faltum, Holly Ferling, Alana King, Meg Lanning, Annabel Sutherland, Elyse Villani.
Melbourne Stars memberships will go on sale on 7 September. You can register your interest in joining the Stars this season by filling out your details here.