Just 18 months ago, a national call-up wasn't even on Erin Burns' radar.
A cricketing veteran, the Wollongong product was happy plying her trade on the domestic circuit for the ACT Meteors and the Sydney Sixers.
That all changed last June when she was picked in the Australia A side to tour England. An international debut followed in September and now she is set to contest a Twenty20 World Cup on home soil.
It's been a whirlwind ride the 31-year-old never anticipated.
"Everyone that plays sport always dreams of playing for their country, but it wasn't necessarily on my radar," Burns said. "I was happy ticking about the domestic competitions and just enjoying my cricket.
"The last 12 months have been a whirlwind. Being included in squads I had previously not been in, and now to get to this point, it's been a dream run.
"The opportunity to play in a home World Cup is something that even 18 months ago, I wasn't thinking about. I had a take it as it comes approach and the last 12 months have been a dream come true."
Burns' journey to the World Cup hasn't been a smooth one, the 31-year-old undergoing a knee operation in early January.
That procedure has kept her out of all of Australia's warm up matches, however she's confident it will have no impact on her performance during the tournament.
"The knee is going really well, it's been a bit of a slow process but I'm getting to that point where it's as good as new at the right time. We've been more conservative, but I'm hitting my straps at the right time.
"They've held me back in the return to play, but I've been participating in all the training sessions. I'm happy I'm at the back end of the rehab process, and ready and raring to go."
Australia enter the World Cup as heavy favourites, the team ranked no. 1 and defending champions.
Their performances, however, have been mixed of late. The side took out a recent tri-series with India and England despite dropping two games in the tournament. Australia were also dealt a major blow on Thursday when Tayla Vlaeminck was ruled out of the competition.
The rivalry with India will resume on Friday night for the opening match of the World Twenty20 at Sydney Showground and Burns is confident the Australians are peaking at the right time.
"We've spoken quite a bit about that tag line, defending champions. We've spoken about how we don't own anything right now, we won the last World Cup, but you have to win a World Cup.
"We're quite aware of being present and not getting too caught up in the pressure of being defending champions.
"We had a couple of losses in the tri-series, but we've learnt from those. We went away and rectified a few things we've been working on.
"Instead of feeling disappointed, we've been able to go back and analyse the games and improved and we're a better team for that."
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