Lauren Cheatle's cricketing journey interrupted by battle against recurring skin cancer

Despite the setbacks, Cheatle managed to earn a recall to the Australian side for the recent tour of India.

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Lauren Cheatle
Lauren Cheatle. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Australia Women cricketer Lauren Cheatle faced another setback in her cricketing journey as she has been ruled out of the remainder of the domestic season and the upcoming Women's Premier League (WPL). The 25-year-old underwent a medical procedure for skin cancer on her neck, an issue she previously battled in 2021. Cheatle, a promising talent, had recently signed with the Gujarat Giants for the WPL, slated to commence on February 23.

However, her health concerns have dashed her hopes of participating in the tournament, as well as the remaining matches of the Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) for New South Wales. With an impressive record, including 11 wickets at 15.45 in the WNCL and 21 wickets at 17.23 in the WBBL for Sydney Sixers, Cheatle's absence leaves a void in the domestic and franchise cricket scene.

"Cheatle is aiming to return to training with NSW following the players' scheduled off-season break," a Cricket New South Wales statement said.

Cheatle’s never-ending fight with health scares

The setback comes at a crucial juncture in the left arm pacer's career, marked by persistent injuries, including three shoulder reconstructions, which kept her out of action for four years. Despite the setbacks, she managed to earn a recall to the Australian side for the recent tour of India, where she made her Test debut against the Indian team late last year.

“My body’s been through a lot and I’ve been through that journey, but I’m super excited to get that call to head over to India. (The) fourth shoulder (reconstruction) was pretty difficult and also the cancer scare. I feel like that came out of nowhere and really readjusted the way I thought about injuries and recovery. That was a really scary point in my career, one I never thought I’d face … it’s one that will never go away," Cheatle had said back in November.

Cheatle's absence also casts doubts over her potential inclusion in the upcoming Test against South Africa in Perth this month, a match where her skillset could have been valuable for the Australian side.

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