Australia skipper Meg Lanning wins inaugural Wisden award

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Melbourne, April 8: Australia skipper Meg Lanning was on Wednesday named the inaugural Leading Woman Cricketer in the World by the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.

In its 151st year, 2015 marks the first time the English cricket magazine has designated a woman's award with Wisden Editor Lawrence Booth appreciating the performances and efforts of the Australian.

File picture of Meg Lanning. Photo Courtesy- Twitter

"Meg was the natural choice for Wisden's inaugural award. She's a genuine star and I'd be surprised if her name doesn't feature regularly on our list of winners in the years ahead," Booth said in a statement.

The opening batter had an incredible 2014, amassing 490 runs at an average of 49.9 in One-Day Internationals (ODI) and 625 runs at 52.08 with a strike rate of 145.34 in Twenty20 Internationals.

The runs scored broke the record for the most women's T20I runs in a calendar year, edging past Englishwoman Sarah Taylor's 616 in 2012. Lanning also became the youngest ever Australia captain when she took over the reins from Jodie Fields last year.

The 23-year-old went on to lead Australia to a third-successive women's World T20 crown in Bangladesh as well as series sweeps over Pakistan and World No.2 West Indies at home.

"I am incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this award, particularly being the first female to be recognised by Wisden in this way. I never dreamt that my name would one day be included in the Almanack but now that it has, I hope this is the beginning of a long tradition of female cricketers to receive such an honour," Lanning said.

"It's been a big 12 months of cricket for the Australian team. I have thoroughly enjoyed the extra challenges that have come with captaincy and have been particularly buoyed by the support I've received from my teammates. Together we have achieved great things."

Retired Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsmen Kumar Sangakkara was named the Leading Cricketer in the World.

IANS

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