Australia captain Meg Lanning will return to the Melbourne Stars after signing with the club on a three-year deal ahead of the 2020 edition of the Women’s Big Bash League.
Lanning was the Stars’ inaugural women’s captain, playing 27 matches for the Stars across the first two editions of the WBBL, 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. The 28-year-old joined the Scorchers on a three-year deal ahead of WBBL 3, however was unable to take the field in her first season due to a shoulder injury that saw her miss the entire campaign.
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,” Lanning was quoted as saying in a statement.
“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.”
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,” said Woodhill.
“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.”
The Stars will open their WBBL 6 campaign in Perth on the weekend of October 17-18 with matches against the Hobart Hurricanes and Perth Scorchers.
The sixth season of WBBL 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.