After spending the first 10 years of her career interstate, Erin Burns returned home 12 months ago with a desire to finally represent NSW.
In a unique turn of events, however, Burns' state debut failed to eventuate. Instead, a combination of injuries and Australian commitments conspired to prevent the all-rounder from earning her blue cap.
With the NSW squad in the midst of preseason training, the Wollongong product recognises how important it is she does feature for the Breakers in the upcoming summer.
After earning an elevation to Cricket Australia's list of contracted players last season, the 32-year-old missed out on a contract for the coming year.
As a result, the Women's National Cricket League and Women's Big Bash League, will be the primary places for Burns to prove she is deserving of a return to the national setup.
"Performances speak for themselves," Burns said. "If I put runs on the board and take a few wickets, it forces the selectors' hand.
"You can talk about it and overcomplicate it, but for me, I'll just go out there and try make some runs.
"We've got a round of WNCL before the planned series against New Zealand. I'm hoping to get out there, put out some good performances and we'll see what happens."
Burns made her Australian debut last September after a lengthy journey to the top of the sport.
A place in the victorious Women's Twenty20 World Cup squad followed, though an untimely knee injury contributed to Burns missing the final XI in all six matches.
For Australian coach Matthew Mott, the veteran's talents are well-known and a recall is not far away.
"She's one of a couple of people that were desperately unlucky to miss out on contracts," Mott said. "Erin is certainly a player of interest. She's an all-rounder, a three-dimensional player, one of the best fielders in the world.
"She's definitely in our plans for the next World Cup, it's just about opportunities going forward and her doing really well in the WNCL this year is important.
"The main thing she needs to do is stand up with her batting performances and making sure she gets some eye-catching scores so she can force a place into that spot around six or seven in our one-day team."
Playing in a sport filled with talented teenagers, Burns has bucked the trend with her late development.
In contrast to the likes of Annabel Sutherland and Tayla Vlaeminck, the Sydney Sixers star toiled away for years before eventually reaching the top.
While she currently works as a physio, Burns has no plans to turn her full attention to that job anytime soon.
"From a skills perspective, the last few years have been some of my best," Burns said.
"I'm enthusiastic about my cricket, it's been amazing to see the growth of the game throughout my career. To see where it is now from when I started is unbelievable.
"If I can get another couple of seasons in, I'll get to see where the game goes in the next few years."
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