Fury lose cricket skipper Elyse Villani

Justin Chadwick
Western Fury women's cricket team has let captain Elyse Villani return to her home state Victoria

The Western Fury women's cricket side has suffered a huge blow after star international Elyse Villani was granted an early release to return to Victoria.

Villani has been in the WA set-up for the past three seasons.

She has captained the Fury since the 2016-17 season and led the side to their second finals appearance last season.

The 28-year-old has returned to her home state of Victoria for personal reasons.

It's unknown where she will play her WBBL cricket next season.

Villani, who has played three Tests, 31 ODIs, and 50 T20Is, will leave a huge void at the top of the Fury batting order, where she formed a formidable partnership with Nicole Bolton.

But Fury's loss is Victoria's gain for the Women's National Cricket League season.

"From a personal perspective, it's the right time to come home," Villani said.

"My time in the west allowed me to fall back in love with the game, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time and will always have fond memories."

The Fury will now start the process of appointing a new captain.

"We want to thank Elyse for her contribution and leadership for the past three seasons," coach Lisa Keightley said.

"She has been an asset to our group and has helped grow women's cricket in WA.

"Younger players in the squad have developed and grown with the success we experienced last season, and we're looking forward to seeing who steps up and makes their mark on the upcoming season."