Australia recently suffered a major setback as their star skipper Meg Lanning pulled herself out from the important 2023 Ashes tour to manage an undisclosed medical issue. Notably, Alyssa Healy will lead the Aussie side against arch-rival England in Lanning’s absence.

It is worth mentioning that this is not the first time when Lanning would miss the Ashes, as she did not play the 2017-18 Ashes series as well. The multiple World Cup-winning skipper also took a break from cricket to focus on her mental health in 2022 before returning and leading the Aussie side to yet another T20 World Cup triumph.

Speaking to the ESPNcricinfo about the exclusion of Lanning, stand-in skipper Healy admitted that the past few days have been rough for the Australian side, and they are all a bit emotional for Lanning.

“I’ve finally probably come to terms with it, it’s been a rough couple of days. Everyone is a little bit emotional about the whole Meg situation but at the same time I’m grappling with being really excited and nervous about the challenge of captaining an Ashes series,” said Healy.

Apart from Healy, Australia women’s cricket team head coach Shelley Nitschke also talked about the effect of Lanning’s absence. She said the news ‘rattled’ the team, but they’re determined to win the series anyway. Nitschke further talked about Healy’s leadership skills as well and posed faith in her.

“I’m sure they were a little bit rattled by the news. But I think Meg is in our thoughts. We also know that she wants us to go over there and get the job done. We’ve had some time to sort of get our head around it now and having the girls up here this week, it’s really nice to get them together,” said Nitschke

“Healy had a big couple of days herself, to find out that she’s captaining for an Ashes series. But I think the fact that she captained the team in India last year and did a fantastic job, the girls got around her, played some really good cricket, so I think she should take a lot of confidence out of that and I think she enjoyed it,” she added.

This article was first published at WomenCricket.com, a Cricket Times company.


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