Meg Lanning back in the nets after mystery withdrawal from the WBBL

Former Australian skipper Meg Lanning was back in the nets for Victoria on Thursday in her first outing since skipping the end of the WBBL for personal reasons.

There had been fears Lanning, who made the shock decision to end her international career last November having taken two long self-imposed breaks from the game may have not played again.

Those fears intensified when Lanning stepped away from her role with the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL midway through the tournament and didn’t return.

Lanning, who amassed a mammoth amassed 8352 runs from 241 international matches in an extraordinary career for Australia, including 182 matches as captain, remains contracted to the Melbourne Stars for the next two seasons.

She is also contracted to the Delhi Capitals in the Women’s Premier League in India and her return to the nets at the Junction Oval with her VIctorian teammates was the strongest indication yet the 31-year-old would be playing cricket again.

Victoria are set to play their next match on January 16, when the 50-over WNCL competition resumes.

Lanning was joined in the nets by luckless fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck who is on the comeback from shoulder surgery she had last August.

Vlaeminck, who is one of the world’s fastest bowlers, played the last of her 24 matches for Australia in 2022 and has endured a horror run of injuries.

She missed Australia’s home T20 World Cup triumph in 2020 due to a foot issue, the ODI World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 as well as the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the 2023 T20 World Cup in South Africa all because of injury.

But still only 25, national selectors remain hopeful of a return to international duties sooner rather than later.

Victoria will play

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