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AFP
March 31, 2020

Idle Lanning plans to get university degree

Sports

AFP
March 31, 2020

LONDON: Australia’s Women’s World Cup winning cricket captain Meg Lanning will go back to school to avoid going “stir-crazy” as the nation all but shuts down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A little more than three weeks after lifting the World Cup trophy in front of a world record crowd at the MCG, Lanning has been forced to scrap the road trips and golf games she had planned for the off-season and adopt some new methods to keep her body and mind active.

The 28-year-old admits she’s now got “no excuses” to not finish her Level Three coaching course she had placed firmly on the backburner in the past 18 months as she focused on steering Australia to a fifth T20 World Cup title. But she’ll also extend her interests beyond cricket and look to commence a university degree in business or sports management as she tries to make the best of the global slowdown.

“I struggle doing nothing,” she said on Monday. “I’ll look to lock that (university course) in next week. Once I’ve done that, it will settle me down a bit once I’ve got something to focus on.

“I love to get outdoors and be active and spend time doing that, so I’ve had to adjust that. I’ve got a home gym set-up that I feel will keep me going. I’ll certainly go stir crazy if I can’t do any exercise.

“I’m just working out little things like that to make sure I’m as well set up as I can be.”Another of Lanning’s main points of focus during the coming weeks and months will be to help her teammates manage an uncertain future where cricket and normal life has taken an indefinite hiatus.

While acknowledging the sport’s good fortune at the timing of the coronavirus pandemic, which meant the World Cup final was held in front of a packed MCG just days before large gatherings of people were banned by the federal government, she’s conscious of the mental strain the global uncertainty will have on her players.

She says her teammates have already embraced technology to stay close in the era of social distancing.“We’ve got a virtual meeting booked in for Friday where anyone can jump on and have a chat about cricket, not cricket, anything like that,” she said.

“Cricket’s not immune. For the moment, we’re lucky because of the timing, but the uncertainty about how long this is going to last for is certainly playing on people’s minds.“It’s a very important time to look after people and to make sure they’re coping mentally and physically and there’s been a lot of chat about how we can best do that.

“We feel like we’re pretty well resourced in that aspect. All the medical staff and coaching staff have been looking out for us and communicating really well and also the players as well.

“As captain, it’s very important that I’m leading the way and making sure everyone is going well.”Lanning will remain active in the gym at home to maintain her fitness in the coming months, but she’s not expecting to pick up a cricket bat anytime soon, at least not for the women’s version of the Indian Premier League, known as the Women’s T20 Challenge.

The third edition of the women’s event had originally been scheduled for May during the finals of the men’s tournament, the start of which has been postponed due to the virus. — cricket.com.au