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Meg Lanning reveals exercise obsession, not eating enough food led to international cricket retirement

18 Apr, 2024 18:15 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Meg Lanning, the legendary Australia captain, has revealed an unhealthy obsession with exercise and not eating enough food led to her shock retirement from international cricket last year.

Meg, the five times World Cup winning captain and Commonwealth Games gold medal winning skipper for Australia, announced her retirement from international cricket at 31, leaving everyone shocked. The announcement came on back of her pulling out of Women’s Ashes due to an undisclosed medical issue.

"I was over-exercising and under-fuelling. I got to the point where I was doing about 85-90km (running) a week. I was in denial. It became a bit of an obsession. It was because I could escape mentally. I would throw the headphones in, I wouldn't take my phone with me."

"I would have my Apple watch with me and listen to music. Nobody could contact me. I really liked that because I felt like I was in control. I felt like I was eating. I was still eating. But I'm much more aware of it now. I was not eating enough. I'd eat maybe a couple of meals a day if I was lucky and they weren't significant."

"It didn't start off as a deliberate thing. It just became a bit of a new normal. It sort of slowly crept into conscious decisions. Essentially I felt good. I was light. I could run heaps. I wasn't getting injured like everyone was telling me I was going to do. It almost became a bit of, 'I am going to show you' sort of thing," said Meg on the Howie Games podcast.

Further talking about how things transpired in leading to her missing out on Women’s Ashes last year, Meg said, "It sort of just spiralled and I was in denial. I got down to 57kg from 64kg. It wasn't ridiculous but it was significant. The ratios were out of whack. But it was the other things that I did not realise.”

“It (affected) my ability to concentrate. I didn't really want to see other people. I disengaged a lot from friends and family. I didn't realise that I was doing this. It sort of became a new normal. I naturally would enjoy spending time by myself. I'm totally fine with that. But there would be very few people who I would want to engage with."

"I would get really snappy, real moody if anyone asked anything. I became a bit of a different person. Pretty hard to be around, I would say. I was not in a place to be able to go on tour and play cricket and give the commitment levels required for that Ashes series mentally and physically. So the decision was made with me in conjunction with the medical team to miss that tour."

Meg also revealed she feared sleeping in night due to her obsessive routines. "I felt very out of control in terms of what my future looked like: 'If it's not cricket, what does life look like if I am not playing?' "I dreaded night time because I knew I would go to bed and not be able to sleep."

"How could I not want to travel the world and play cricket? That doesn't make any sense. That would make me so mad. I would just get more angry with myself. If you can't sleep, you can't do anything. No matter what was happening, I was always able to perform. (But) it had become a bit of auto pilot."

Meg continues to play domestic cricket, having recently led Delhi Capitals 2024 Women’s Premier League runners-up finish last month and has signed up with London Spirit to play in The Hundred for the first time in England. She also said that being a private person, she struggled to tell her battles, which is still on, but is now getting better.

"It's still not back to normal ratios I would say, (I have) lots of conversations that I have with myself around what I should do and what is the right thing to do for my health but it's hard for my brain. I have that battle and sometimes I win, sometimes I don't."

"I feel like I'm in a good spot now. Cricket is still part of what I do. But I wasn't cut out for the international touring schedule and what came with all of that. What I have come to know is that everybody is always going through something, no matter how much they look like they have got things under control."

"And that was something that I felt like I was good at, looking like I had everything under control. And that's absolutely not the case. I've really started to understand how actually talking to people and letting people know can actually help."

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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