Australia's cricket captain open to helping Ashleigh Barty pursue cricket career



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Australia's cricket captain open to helping Ashleigh Barty pursue cricket career

Australian cricket team captain Meg Lanning admitted she was "surprised" when she heard Ashleigh Barty was retiring from tennis at the age of 25. On March 23, former three-time Grand Slam champion Barty announced she was calling it a career.

Barty made an outstanding start to the 2022 season, claiming back-to-back titles at the Adelaide International and Australian Open. “I was surprised. I think we all were. You don’t expect someone who’s going so well and dominating to call time.

It’s a very brave call," Lanning said.

Lanning: I'm more than open to giving Barty advice or whatever she needs

In 2014, Barty took a break from tennis and went to play professional cricket instead. During her retirement press conference, Barty didn't rule out trying herself in another sport.

Lanning and fellow cricket star Ellyse Perry would be open to helping Barty. “If she wants to come and have another crack at cricket, [we] would certainly be interested in talking to her," Lanning added. “She was pretty good at [it] last time she played.

She seems very talented at most things she does. Let’s see what happens”. Barty, who described herself as "sports nut," could try golf, cricket or Australian Rules football. "There’s a general expectation you’ll play for an extended period of time and go for as long as you possibly can.

That’s the norm," Perry said. “She genuinely tends to buck the norm a little bit and do what’s best for her, which is just really cool”. Last weekend, Barty won a ladies golf event in Queensland and netted a $30 AUD prize money.

"It sounds like golf is in with a better chance [than cricket]. It’d be really nice for her to be able to do what she wants to do," Perry added. “There’s speculation around what sport she’s going to play next or what she’s going to do. Hopefully, she just gets to find that out for herself and do exactly what she’s got planned”.