Amy Jones says being left out of England Women 2017 World Cup squad was a wake-up call
"There are so many pictures of the girls lifting the trophy around the training centre in Loughborough. It is a massive motivator for me to make sure I don't cruise or get left behind"
Last Updated: 22/02/19 3:08pm
Sunday, July 23 2017 is a day etched on every England Women's players mind - lifting the World Cup trophy in front of a sold-out Lord's.
For Amy Jones the memory is one mixed with pride, at seeing her team achieve a spectacular feat, and of disappointment having missed out on selection as a part of the squad for the tournament.
Despite beginning her career at the age of 19, playing her first One-Day International during the group stages of the 2013 World Cup in India, Jones had endured a stop-start career with England - playing just 20 ODIs in the five-year span before being left out the 2017 World Cup squad.
"I have been at a number of World Cups running the drinks," Jones recalled. "Playing the odd game here and there. One World Cup I just played in the final, that was my first game.
"It was a doubt in my mind as to whether I was going to have a lot of potential but not fulfill it. There is only so long you can run the drinks for before they find someone else to do it.
"Being dropped for the World Cup at home (in 2017) was the turning point for me, it was something that really shook.
"I took that very hard. It is not that I was expecting to be picked but it did really knock me back and I think it just woke me up a little bit.
"Even now when you walk around Loughborough (the training centre) there are so many pictures of the girls lifting the trophy.
"It is obviously brilliant, but it is a massive motivator for me to make sure I don't cruise or don't get left behind and make sure when we raise the next trophy I am there with them."
The bitter disappointment at missing out on such a momentous occasion left Jones unsure of her next steps.
While her England team-mates travelled to Australia to play in the Women's Ashes, the wicketkeeper joined Western Fury in Women's National Cricket League in Perth.
A change of environment, added responsibility of being an overseas player and a technical change, made with the help of England coach Ali Maiden, in her batting aided Jones in reinventing herself.
"The worst thing had happened," she explained. "I was so desperate to play in that home World Cup.
"Once I got dropped I realised I needed to do more than what I was doing. I was cruising and this shook me up. It flicked a switch a little bit in that I needed to make the most of my ability.
"Going out to Australia with that extra responsibility, I decided I had to play with freedom because what I was doing wasn't scoring me big runs.
"A change of mindset that came with a technical change made me hit the ball harder and I just got more confidence from that. I felt I had nothing to lose.
"I realised that I was almost settling for just being on the tours and not properly making the most of my time to get picked.
"Being in and out of a team and if you're not scoring freely sometimes you can resort to just staying at the crease as long as possible. You might not be doing anything productive.
"I had nothing to lose, I could just go out there, enjoy it and play freely. I got some good results because of it and gained confidence.
Jones was earned a fortuitous route back into the ODI side last March when wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor was rested for England's unofficial limited-overs series in India.
Handed the duty of keeping wicket and batting at number three, the Warwickshire player suffered a torrid start to the tour, facing a total of seven balls in the first two matches as she was dismissed for a pair of ducks.
With her future career possibly hanging on the line, Jones returned her highest ODI score in the third and final match in Nagpur - striking an elegant 94 off 119 balls before being agonisingly run out six runs short of a maiden century.
It was an innings that kick-started her England career in earnest with Jones securing a place in the 50-over squad, even with the return on first-choice wicketkeeper Taylor, during the home series against South Africa and New Zealand last summer and playing in the World T20 in the Caribbean in November - where the team reached the final.
"The last tour to India was obviously a huge opportunity and one of the biggest I had gotten," Jones said.
"I knew I was batting at three and keeping wicket, so it was a really big chance for me to show everyone what I could do.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself at the start and it not going well [with the bat] in the first two [games] raised the pressure but I just tried to stay relaxed and luckily made the most of last game.
"The coaches told me to stay confident, that I was playing well in the nets and for me it was about going out there and playing each ball.
"I was so nervous in the third ODI and I was so happy to get that first run. I tried to stay as calm and confident as possible and stick to my plans.
"It was a good lesson for me in keeping the faith in what I am doing in the nets and if I look after the basics I can score big runs.
"Having been around the team and not getting a big score in me does leave you with doubts, so to get the score and build on it during last summer was big.
"Knowing [last summer] I was going to go out and open for a set amount of games lifted a bit of pressure off me and I could just go out and play freely."