Bulow wants national title
HAVING 12 months off gave record-breaking Ipswich product Melissa Bulow plenty of time to reflect on her achievements.
Being Queensland's most successful Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) player was the main one. She'd won four Queensland Fire Player of the Year awards and was the top national representative in 2006/07.
But even after scoring 3129 national league runs and playing 101 games, the classy right-handed opener has unfinished business.
"My last remaining goal is to win a national league title with the Fire," Bulow, 31, said.
"I'd love to play for Australia again but I think in my heart of hearts, I've come to terms that my international career may well be over.
"But having said that, if I score a mountain of runs this year for Fire, hopefully the door is open for a return there."
The closest Bulow came to a national title was in 2005 when she captained the Queensland team to within three runs of victory against NSW at North Sydney Oval.
"That still lives very fresh," she said. "I'd love to give it all I've got before I can look back and have no regrets about my career."
During her break from the game, the former Redbank Plains cricketer spent more time with her family and friends, many of whom are still in Ipswich.
"In hindsight, I definitely needed it to refresh," she said, having played 13 seasons at national level.
"Now it's like I'm starting my career again. I've got that enjoyment back and I'm hoping that can transfer on to the field as well."
Bulow, with a highest WNCL score of 130, said she missed the competitiveness of cricket.
"It does become a little bit addictive when you're playing at that level," she said.
"Playing as part of a team, I really did miss that aspect of it."
In true Bulow style, she's determined to be in peak condition for Queensland's first T20 game against Tasmania at Allan Border Field on October 21.
"I've come to the end of a heavy training phase and am keen to start our state games in a couple of weeks time," she said.
"Ever since I decided at the start of the year (to come back), I committed to doing everything I could to be in the best possible shape moving into the season.
"I think I'm pretty well there now."
Bulow's build-up has featured cross-training, strength and conditioning since March and skills work since April.
She was thrilled to have scored a personal best in an aerobic capacity test at training.
The former Fire skipper is also keen to help the younger inexperienced Fire players.