No return for Lanning as Aussies name WI squads

Meg Lanning’s return is likely to come via domestic cricket as Australia name squads for home T20I and ODI series against West Indies

Meg Lanning will not return for Australia’s white-ball games against West Indies next month, with the national captain's return to the game more likely to come in domestic cricket.

On Friday Australia named 13-player squads for both the three-match ODI and T20I series against the Windies to be played in early October.

Alyssa Healy will continue to lead after captaining the side that retained the Ashes in the UK over the winter. 

Lanning was ruled out of the Ashes in May and then missed the subsequent ODI series in Ireland due to medical reasons and remains unavailable for selection as determined by Cricket Australia’s medical team.

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris (T20Is only), Jess Jonassen, Alana King (ODIs only), Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

Healy said last month that she was hopeful that Lanning would be passed fit for the West Indies matches and while that won't eventuate, the indication is that her return is edging ever closer, although no date has been formally set. 

In a statement, Australian Women's Team Doctor Dr Pip Inge said: "Meg is progressing well but remains unavailable for competitive cricket.

"No date has been set for Meg’s return to play, however, we anticipate a gradual return through domestic cricket.

"CA medical staff will continue to work closely with Meg and an update on her availability will be provided in due course."

Lanning last played in the WPL in March // Getty

National selector Shawn Flegler added: "Although currently unavailable for selection, Meg remains an integral part of our team and we’ll continue to support her throughout her return to play program."

Victorian-based Lanning penned a new three-year deal with Melbourne Stars earlier this year and could potentially make her return in Weber WBBL|09, which begins on October 19.

Victoria’s domestic one-day season begins in Perth on September 26, while they play a second round of games in Queensland on October 10 and 12 before the Big Bash starts.

Australia’s next engagement following the Windies series is a multi-format away tour of India in December and January, before a home multi-format series against South Africa immediately after.

The Australian squads are the same for both formats against West Indies, with the exception being that Grace Harris will only feature in the T20s before making way for Alana King in the ODIs.

Although Australia won the ODI series against Ireland in late July, the ultra-dominant Aussies enter the summer in an unusual position of having suffered recent series defeats, falling to England 2-1 in both the one-dayers and the T20s during the Ashes series. 

The West Indies are the sixth-ranked team in both ODIs and T20s while Australia still hold top spot in both formats.

CommBank T20s v West Indies 2023

First T20: October 1, North Sydney Oval, 12pm AEDT

Second T20: October 2, North Sydney Oval, 7.05pm AEDT

Third T20: October 5, Allan Border Field, 7.05pm AEDT

CommBank ODIs v West Indies 2023

First ODI: October 8, Allan Border Field, 10.35am AEDT

Second ODI: October 12, Junction Oval, 10.05am AEDT

First ODI: October 14, Junction Oval, 10.05am AEDT