The world is full to the brim with fluctuating emotions at present, and that certainly sums up Lauren Winfield’s last couple of months.
As a professional sportswoman, you would think the Yorkshire and England batter would be well versed in coping with the ups and downs – fighting for selection and trophies, etc, etc. They are all part of her every day existence.
Nothing, however, can have prepared the 29-year-old for how things have gone during the first quarter of 2020.
On March 5, Winfield and her England team-mates were due to meet India in the semi-final of the World Cup at Sydney, only for rain to force an abandonment. The ICC ruling meant that instead of a reserve day, the highest ranked finisher would progress. And that was India, who finished top of their group to England finishing second in theirs. Then, India went on to lose the final against hosts Australia at Melbourne by a whopping 85 runs.
On March 13, Winfield married her Australian partner Courtney, a sporting star in her own right, in Queensland with family, friends and team-mates all present.
In summary, she went from arguably the lowest point of her professional career to the high point of her life within eight days.
“That pretty much sums it up,” said the York-born star.
“The World Cup was absolutely devastating and actually quite painful to watch the final. There was definitely a part of you that felt we’d have given Australia a much better run for their money on the day given the way the final played out.
“The pain of having to watch that, not getting the chance to fight your corner, was hard. But, fortunately, I don’t think anyone else will have to suffer like that again because I’m sure there will be some rule changes on rain days, etc.
“Then the wedding, a lot of the girls stayed on and did a bit of travelling around Queensland.
“To be honest, that was what everybody needed at that point, and it was awesome to spend some time with the girls.
“The wedding was obviously the best day, but it was also the best week in the build-up.
“If that had have been scheduled a week later, it wouldn’t have gone ahead. We were very lucky in that sense.”
And that is where Coronavirus kicks in to add another strand to Winfield’s (definitely) weird and (definitely) wonderful tale.
She has conducted this chat whilst living with Courtney’s parents on the Sunshine Coast, an hour or so north of Brisbane, with no immediate prospect of a return home to England.
“Our flights were supposed to be back home on March 27, but Emirates have gone into total lockdown, so we can’t fly,” she explained.
“My family have also had their flights cancelled – mum, dad, aunties and uncles.
“Emirates initially said it was going to be a two-week lockdown and they’d review it. But at this stage, it hasn’t been lifted.
“Since then I’ve been in touch with the ECB, who’ve said, ‘As long as you’re happy and are doing everything we ask of you, we’re happy for you to stay out there until we have something to come home for. There’s no point coming back here and doing less than you’re able to do now’.