Fri, 29 Sep 2023

Brisbane [Australia], May 29 (ANI): Australia was shaken by the news of Meg Lanning's unexpected withdrawal from the Ashes series, and stand-in skipper Alyssa Healy confessed that it had been an emotional few days, but they are determined not to let it ruin their chances of victory in England.

Australia's quest to retain the Women's Ashes in the UK has taken a huge hit with captain Meg Lanning ruled out of the tour. Lanning withdrew from the squad due to a medical issue, according to Cricket Australia which announced the news on Saturday morning.

The squad arrived in Brisbane on Monday for their last training camp before departing, although they will be missing skipper Lanning, who has withdrawn from the series to stay at home to deal with an unknown medical condition.

"I've finally probably come to terms with it, it's been a rough couple of days. Everyone is a little bit emotional about the whole Meg situation but at the same time I'm grappling with being really excited and nervous about the challenge of captaining an Ashes series," Healy told ESPNcricinfo.

Australia head coach Shelley Nitschke could not comment on what Lanning was dealing with - though it is understood it is unrelated to her break from the game last year - but admitted her sudden absence from the tour had rocked the squad as they gathered for the first time since the announcement on Saturday.

"I'm sure they were a little bit rattled by the news. But I think Meg is in our thoughts. We also know that she wants us to go over there and get the job done. We've had some time to sort of get our head around it now and having the girls up here this week, it's really nice to get them together," Nitschke said.

Nitschke believes that Healy and the group will be able to handle Lanning's absence again.

"[Healy] had a big couple of days herself, to find out that she's captaining for an Ashes series. But I think the fact that she captained the team in India last year and did a fantastic job, the girls got around her, played some really good cricket, so I think she should take a lot of confidence out of that and I think she enjoyed it," Nitschke said. (ANI)

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