Tayla Vlaeminck was getting ready to board a plane in Brisbane last Friday night when she received the news every young Aussie cricketer dreams of.
"You're in the Ashes squad to go to England."
The news came from national selector Shawn Flegler and it left 20-year-old Vlaeminck with a good problem.
As elated as she was to learn that she was about to take part in her first Ashes tour, she had to keep quiet until the official announcement on Tuesday morning.
"I haven't been able to wipe the smile off my face,'' Vlaeminck said on Tuesday.
"I told Mum and Dad and a couple of close friends, but that was it. It was hard to keep under wraps until today.
"It hasn't fully sunk in yet. To get the chance to potentially play in an Ashes Test match in England is pretty cool.
"We still have a couple of weeks of training to get through before we head over there, so it probably won't sink in until we arrive in England."
The Strathdale-Maristians product is one of five pace bowlers in the Australian squad of 14.
Vlaeminck's X-factor is her speed.
After injuring her knee midway through the summer, Vlaeminck traded net sessions for gym sessions and the extra strength work has helped her bowl quicker.
"I feel like the more strength I get the better I'm able to control myself at the crease, which sets me up to bowl faster,'' Vlaeminck said.
"I've only been bowling for three or four weeks (since the injury), but I feel like I'm in a good spot and, hopefully, I can increase the speed that the ball is coming out at."
Vlaeminck's pace caused trouble for Australian squad members at the recent training camp in Brisbane.
Skipper Meg Lanning rates Vlaeminck alongside some of the quickest bowlers in women's cricket.
"It's nice to have a bit of extra pace in the squad, it gives us a bit of variety," Lanning said on Tuesday.
"She's definitely up there with Kathrine Brunt, (Shamilia) Connell from West Indies, they're probably the quicker ones on the international scene and I think Tayla is around the mark with those ones."
Vlaeminck's Ashes selection came one day after she signed with Hobart Hurricanes in the Women's Big Bash League.
After three years with the Melbourne Renegades, Vlaeminck said the time was right for a new challenge.
"I really enjoyed my time with the Renegades, but when this opportunity came up it was something I really couldn't knock back,'' Vlaeminck said.
"Hobart is putting together a really good squad and I'm really excited about the opportunity."
Australia's squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.
Schedule for Australia's tour of England:
June 26: England Academy v Australia, Loughborough
June 28: England Academy v Australia, Loughborough
July 2: First ODI, Grace Road, Leicester
July 4: Second ODI, Grace Road, Leicester
July 7: Third ODI, St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury
July 11-13: England Academy v Australia, Marlborough College, Swindon
July 18-21: Only Test, The County Ground, Taunton
July 26: First T20, County Ground, Chelmsford
July 28: Second T20, The County Ground, Hove
July 31: Third T20, Bristol County Ground, Bristol
A Test victory is worth four points (two each for a draw), two points are awarded for ODI and T20 wins.
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