Rene Farrell, left, with Alex Blackwell and Sarah Elliott after winning the Ashes in January 2011. Farrell will make her debut for the ACT Comets on Friday. Photo: Getty Images
She has doubled both her number of dogs and the amount of care she takes climbing the stairs and now ACT Meteors opening bowler Rene Farrell is finally making her debut two months after first planned.
After missing most of the season due to a broken toe from tripping over her dog Bailey, Farrell is fired up to finally play for the Meteors. And the chance to force her way into the Southern Stars line-up for next year's Ashes has her ''feeling like my first game again''.
Farrell was meant to be a crucial element in the Meteors mounting a serious title charge, but the mishap on the stairs left her needing to ''learn to walk again''.
She will finally take the new ball for the ACT in a three-game series against the Queensland Fire at Freebody Oval, starting on Friday.
After the encounter with Bailey, the temptation would be to have no dogs, but instead she has added Baxter to the family and has been more careful not to trip over her pets.
There's more than just games in the Women's National Cricket League on the line - she wants to get her baggy green back.
Farrell has represented Australia 48 times, including two Tests - a tally she is desperate to add to in England in August.
The Sydney native took a year off from the game because she had lost the love for it. But the passion is back and she wants to return to the top level.
''If I perform well enough, I'll be putting my hand up for [national] selection, whether it's in a Twenty20 format or a Test match down the track in England,'' Farrell said. ''I'll definitely be working hard … because for me the Test match is the ultimate, so to be selected and play in my third Test would be awesome.''
Farrell will be sharing the new ball with New Zealand international Sian Ruck, who has just returned from playing against Australia for the Rose Bowl.
A 3-1 series win meant the Southern Stars retained the trophy, and Farrell was going to bide her time before letting her fellow quick know about it - they are meant to be teammates after all.
''Hopefully, I can be opening the bowling with her [Ruck] and, hopefully, we can rip into the opposition together rather than each other,'' Farrell said with a laugh.
''Maybe once we have a drink or two after three wins I might slip a little sledge in there about the Kiwis.''
It is an important series for the Meteors, who have to win all three games to keep their finals hopes alive in both the Twenty20 and one-day competitions.
ACT Meteors v Queensland Fire
At Freebody Oval. Friday: Twenty20 game from 3pm. Saturday: One-dayer from 10am. Sunday: Twenty20 from 10am.