Australian Women's team have suffered a huge blow ahead of the Ashes as the Aussie skipper Meg Lanning has been ruled out of the tour on Saturday morning.
Lanning has been withdrawn from the squad due to a 'medical issue', according to Cricket Australia.
Medical staff working with the Australian team have advised her to stay at home as part of her management. The timeframe of her return at this point remains unknown.
Lanning took a mental health break late last year but she returned to the national team in January 2023 and led Australia to their ICC Women's T20 World Cup triumph in February.
Australia's Head of Performance (Women's Cricket) Shawn Flegler reflected on Lanning's absence and said it's an unfortunate setback for her, though he has stressed their support is behind the national captain as she continues to walk on the road to make a comeback.
"She is obviously disappointed to have been ruled out of the Ashes; it's a significant series for the team and she'll be missed, but she understands the need to put her health first," Flegler said as quoted by ICC. He said, "Meg will remain at home where she will continue to work with medical staff with the aim to return to playing as soon as possible."
Flegler and Cricket Australia have called for Lanning's privacy to be respected at this time.
"We ask that Meg's privacy is respected at this time," Flegler concluded.
Alyssa Healy will captain the women's team for the Ashes Series and deputized by Tahlia McGrath as vice-captain. Lanning will not be replaced in the squad as players will be called on from the 'A' squad as required.
The Women's Ashes will start with a one-off Test in Nottingham from 22 June then move into white-ball clashes with three T20Is and three ODIs as part of the multi-format series.
Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham. (ANI)