Villiers content to bide time over England return

All-rounder Mady Villiers is hoping to find her way back into the England squad despite never feeling "settled" during her first taste of international cricket.

The 25-year-old played 17 T20 internationals between 2019 and 2021 before losing her place but she was involved with England A in New Zealand in March.

She is now playing domestic cricket for Sunrisers and is content to bide her time and wait for another opportunity.

"I love working with the best coaches in the game, playing alongside the best players. It just tells you where you need to be and you can't get away with anything," Villiers told BBC Essex Sport.

She was only 20 when she made her England debut against Australia at Bristol in July 2019, a game in which she took 2-20 in her four overs of off-spin.

Villiers has 14 international wickets so far, but had very little opportunity to show her skills with the bat.

She explained: "It was tough to be honest. I feel like I was exposed at quite a young age - not in a negative way, I don't feel like I was thrown into the fire at all, but you're forced to perform consistently at such a young age.

"I hadn't really being playing cricket for that long when I made my debut so I didn't ever really feel like I was in a place where I could perform, to be completely honest.

"When I was playing for England, and you're on the fringe of it, you never feel settled. You always feel like you're always chasing it and there's always people chasing you."

She continued: "I'm not chasing it at the minute. I'm not thinking that this time next year I'd love to be in the squad or the T20 World Cup. I'm not looking at anything like that.

"It's just if I play well and if I enjoy my cricket then off the back of that something might happen, but I'm kind of really sitting on the fence here on that one at the minute."

Sunrisers are top of the table after six rounds of the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, winning four games so far.

Attention now turns to the 20-over Charlotte Edwards Cup, which starts this weekend, and Villiers is hoping for a chance at the top of the Sunrisers batting order.

"I think this is my problem because whenever there's an opportunity, I will just stick my hand up and say 'I'll do it'. Sometimes that does make me look a bit stupid, but I just want to take every opportunity that is given to me," she added.

"Opening the batting in T20 is something I did in New Zealand and I really enjoyed it. It just lets you play with a lot more freedom.....if you come off, you come off, if you don't, you don't. I like batting in the middle in the 50 over comp."