Katherine Brunt is currently spending most of her time in bed with a serious back injury which could potentially end her sensational career but she is hopeful that she will recover to realise her dream of winning the ICC Player of the Year and to play in the 2017 Women's World Cup in England.
The 28-year-old fast bowler from Dodworth has struggled with back problems since she was 15 and, after playing in the Ashes Test in Australia last month, she had to watch the One Day Internationals and Twenty20 matches on television and from the stands as England took the series.
Brunt said: "I have a suspected prolapsed disc in my back and I am pretty much in bed all day on painkillers. This is the second prolapsed disc I have had. The first one was when I was 21 and it kept me out for 15 months. Medicine has moved on a lot since then so I will probably be out for about half that time this time.
"It is possible that I will need an operation or that the doctor will advise me to stop playing cricket because a third prolapsed disc could potentially leave me in pain for the rest of my life or maybe even disabled. If he does say that then I'll have to decide what I want to do."
Brunt – who is very unlikely to play in the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh next month – says she is desperate to continue as long as possible but is planning to take a long break to make sure she is fully healed on her return.
The former Barnsley CC junior said: "I have got to do what is best for me. In the past I have patched myself up and carried on for the sake of the team. But I know that I haven't bowled at my best for the last couple of tours and I need to take some time out and get fully right. Myself and Charlotte Edwards (England captain) said that we would both keep playing if the other one did. We shook hands on making the World Cup in England so that is my target."
Brunt's other aim is to win the ICC Player of the Year, an award that she has been short-listed for twice but never taken. She said: "Both times the judges have told me that I missed out because I had missed matches due to injury. I really want to give myself two injury-free years when I can really bowl to my best and give myself the best chance of being Player of the Year.
"I have won the Twenty20 and 50-over World Cups and Ashes tours at home and away, been the ECB Player of the Year three times and number one bowler in the world. The only thing left on my list of goals is to be ICC Player of the Year. But if it doesn't happen then I will still have had a good career."