Many sports journalists, photographers and fellow players were left shocked as the Captain of the Australian womenâ€™s cricket team - Meg Lanning broke down in tears at the post-match press conference following a third consecutive loss to the New Zealand team. The Australian womenâ€™s cricket team, more commonly known as the Southern Stars, once enjoyed an aura of invincibility and unprecedented dominance of womenâ€™s cricket in all forms of the game, but a 2-1 series loss to India at home last year in a T20 competition, the shocking loss in the 2016 T20 World Cup final to the West Indies women and this latest defeat away to the New Zealand women in the ODI format coupled with their 2-1 home loss to the White Ferns last week in the T20 format have indicated that the Stars are beginning to lose their sparkle.
It didnâ€™t help the Australian womenâ€™s cause when their star player Ellyse Perry had to withdraw from all competitions against the Kiwis following a hamstring injury before the series started; still, no one would have predicted that the Australian women would have been condemned to a rare losing streak against their lesser fancied Oceania neighbours. Speaking at the post-match press conference, Captain Meg Lanning, usually, calm and collected, couldnâ€™t hold back as she said:
â€śThis is another bitter pill to swallow. We Aussie women are not accustomed to losing. In fact, we pride ourselves on being the best in all formats of the game. Thatâ€™s why we once held all the major titles in womenâ€™s cricket, butâ€¦butâ€¦â€¦ (Sniff sniff) I am afraid that we may not be dominant any longer.â€ť
As the tears flowed, and the Captain covered her face and sobbed. Teammate Beth Mooney, who scored an even hundred for the Aussies in a losing effort which was bettered by Amy Satterthwaiteâ€™s unbeaten 102 which propelled the New Zealand women to their latest win as they easily chased down a challenging 275 runs to end up on 276 for the loss of only five wickets, handed her a box of Kleenex and gave her a comforting hug.
After finally composing herself, Lanning continued:
â€śBut despite this latest setback, I have full confidence that we can recover and win the next two games in the series. We are expecting both Ellyse and Alex to return fully fit for the remaining games and I am sure that we can turn our fortunes around.â€ť
The Australian Captain concluded the press conference by taking a slight jab at the New Zealand team by saying:
â€śAfter all, the kangaroo is a far more dangerous animal than the kiwi. Donâ€™t you know the devastating kick it can deliver when it believes it is threatened?â€ť