Meg Lanning has been named captain of the Australian Southern Stars as they look to bring home a third consecutive women’s World Twenty20 crown.
Meg Lanning will captain Australia in their women’s World Twenty20 title defence in Bangladesh next month, despite Jodie Fields returning to the 15-player squad from injury.
Experienced batter Fields missed the majority of the women’s Ashes series with a fractured finger and was replaced as skipper by 21-year-old Lanning.
Along with Sarah Coyte (quad), Fields has recovered in time to bolster a Southern Stars outfit attempting to secure a historic third-straight World T20 crown in March.
However, selectors say they want Fields to concentrate solely on finding form with the bat and are prepared to back Lanning to take charge of the team despite her age.
No.3 batter Lanning has 35 Twenty20 internationals under her belt and averages 28 at that level, with four 50s.
Lanning scored 78 not out, 42 and 23 to spearhead Australia’s 2-1 win in the T20 component of the Ashes and will again look to lead by example, with selectors viewing her as a long-term captain.
But 29-year-old Wicketkeeper Fields has played 37 Twenty20 internationals for her country and will be disappointed not to resume control of the side, despite only playing the one-off Test against England before fracturing her finger in a training drill leading into the ODIs.
“Jodie Fields’ season has been disrupted significantly with illness and injury. We believe the best outcome for Jodie and the team is for her to concentrate solely on her recovery and getting back to the best possible form with the bat and the gloves,” said chair of selectors, Julie Savage.
“As a young captain, Meg performed extremely well in the recent Women’s Ashes Series and is well placed to continue in the role. She has great leadership potential and is widely respected by her peers.”
Savage said Australia were experienced in World Cup competition and possessed “firepower” and “finesse”.
Meg Lanning (capt, VIC), Jodie Fields (vice-capt, Qld), Alex Blackwell (NSW), Nicole Bolton (WA), Jess Cameron (VIC), Sarah Coyte (NSW), Rene Farrell (ACT), Holly Ferling (QLD), Alyssa Healy (NSW), Julie Hunter (VIC), Jess Jonassen (QLD), Delissa Kimmince (QLD), Erin Osborne (NSW), Ellyse Perry(NSW), Elyse Villani (VIC)