Sarah Glenn was understandably daunted by the prospect of spending a fortnight alone in a hotel room ahead of her WBBL debut.
But she also fully understands the importance of serving Australia’s mandatory isolation period, having been laid low in April by Covid-19, which she believes she contracted after a man she thinks was drunk bumped into her while she was shopping for food.
Legspinner Glenn was recently named the Professional Cricketers’ Association Women’s Player of the Year after her breakthrough T20 series against West Indies, which England won 5-0.
Glenn was snapped up by Perth Scorchers – the club England head coach Lisa Keightley took to two WBBL finals – for the tournament starting in Sydney on October 25, continuing an eventful year in which she cemented her status at international level and spent nearly two months recovering from Covid-19 after that chance encounter at the supermarket.
Having returned to her parents’ Derbyshire home from the T20 World Cup, held in Australia in February and March, Glenn was careful to protect her family from the illness, only leaving the house to walk the dog. It was when she ventured out to do the weekly food shopping that she believes she was infected by the virus.
“I had to get out of the house one day and we needed a food shop so I offered,” Glenn told the Telegraph. “I came across this bloke who bumped into me and laughed. I think he was drunk. Me and the lady at the till were in shock.
“I felt really uncomfortable. It was my first and only shopping experience in lockdown and it was awful. He bumped into me again, so I walked out. I came home so angry. I said to my parents, ‘If I get ill next week I’m going to be fuming’. And there I was next week in bed. It was not great.”
An antibody test later confirmed that Glenn had Covid-19. While her parents tested negative, Glenn said it took her a long time to recover.
“It really opened my eyes and I start to get angry when young people say, ‘Oh we will be fine’. No. I’m a fit young athlete and I was a bit worried,” Glenn said. “I had a couple of bad nights so I get annoyed by that. I did not realise how much it affected your lungs and it took me a long time to get over it.”
Following her recovery, Glenn was the leading wicket-taker in England’s home series against West Indies, where she built a successful partnership with left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone.
Preparing to emerge from isolation in Adelaide on Sunday, after using an exercise bike to keep her fitness levels up and spending her time studying for her sports science degree, Glenn’s outlook was upbeat.
“It’s not too bad,” Glenn said. “When the bloke helped me to the room with my stuff and said, ‘Right we will see you in two weeks’, the anxiety hit me. But I feel settled now. It is the new normal and I see it as a real positive.”