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    Will Welcome Barty With Open Arms If She Wants To Play Cricket: Meg Lanning

     Meg Lanning
    Sunil Aswal
    April6/ 2022

    Sydney: Australian Women's Cricket World Cup-winning captain Meg Lanning and team-mate Ellyse Perry have said that they would welcome back retired tennis ace Ashleigh Barty with open arms if she wishes to have "another crack at cricket". Barty, an Australian, had the tennis world and her legion of fans in a state of shock last month after the winner of three Grand Slams announced her retirement one month shy of her 26th birthday. Barty won the French Open in 2019, Wimbledon in 2021 and Australian Open earlier this year, and her reign of 114 consecutive weeks at No.1 is the fourth-longest streak in the history of the WTA Tour, behind Germany's Steffi Graf (186 weeks), American stalwart Serena Williams (186) and Czechoslovakian-American great Martina Navratilova (156). At the time of announcing her retirement, Barty had said that she doesn't have the "physical drive", "the emotional want and everything it takes to challenge yourself at the very top of the level anymore". At 18, Barty had taken a break from tennis, and in that 21-month period while she was away from the courts, she had a stint playing cricket with the Brisbane Heat of the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL). She even scored a 39 against Lanning's Melbourne Stars in one of the matches. "I was surprised (by Barty's retirement). I think we all were," Lanning was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz on Wednesday. "You don't expect someone who's going so well and dominating to call time. It's a very brave call. "If she wants to come and have another crack at cricket (we) would certainly be interested in talking to her. She was pretty good at last time she played. She seems very talented at most things she does. Let's see what happens," added Lanning. However, Perry felt Barty was m ...

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