Seeing a happy Meg Lanning back in cricket and keen to play six weeks out from a T20 World Cup defence got Ellyse Perry pumped before the superstar powered her way to a massive hundred for Victoria.
Lanning ended her six-month playing absence in Melbourne on Thursday and the Australian captain returned as the “same Meg” after her self-imposed break according to Perry who blasted 147 in Victoria’s big win over NSW.
While Lanning was out for just 29, Perry said the skipper’s smile was more important than the runs as she prepares to load up again with a series against Pakistan before leading Australia to the T20 World Cup in South Africa in February.
“Meg is one of the best players in the world, one of the best we’ve ever seen. So, whenever you add someone like that back into your side, it’s great,” Perry said,
“But I think most importantly, we’re all pumped that she’s keen to be back around playing. She seems really happy and you know, it’s just it’s nice to see Meg back in the cricket world again.
“In the grand scheme of her career, six months out is a very short time. So I don’t think she’s lost anything. We all have to get used to playing matches again, that takes it a bit but besides that, she’s the same Meg.”
Perry blasted 23 boundaries for the Vics in her hundred, her second in the competition having also been the second-leading run-scorer in the WBBL.
Nicole Faltum, who took over the captaincy of the Melbourne Stars when Lanning stepped away, and is filling in for Sophie Molineux as Victorian skipper, also blasted her maiden WNCL century in the victory,
While Lanning’s return didn’t come with a big score, former Australian captain Belinda Clark, speaking after a statue of her was unveiled in Sydney, said there was no doubt the skipper would be back to her world-conquering best after a “brave” decision to take a break.
“It was brave from Meg to step away when she realised that she needed to step away,” Clark said.
“You can come back refreshed and I‘m hoping Meg’s got some great cricket in front of her.
“Cricket‘s a game that requires you to be switched on the whole time so I think you’ll see some great Meg Lanning highlights in the next couple of years. She’ll be great.
“I‘m really pleased she’s back.”
Lanning will be back in action for the Vics on Sunday before re-starting her Australian duties for six games against Pakistan.