Cricket: Former Shenfield pupil Villiers heads to T20 World Cup
PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 January 2020
PA Wire/PA Images
Former Shenfield High pupil Mady Villiers is jetting out to Australia with the England Women's squad for the T20 World Cup.
Villiers, 21, made her international debut in a T20 match against Australia last July and was in their ODI squad against Pakistan in November.
And she is part of a 15-strong England party hoping to go one better this time around, having lost the 2018 final to Australia.
England face India next Friday in the first of six Tri-Series warm-up matches, also including Australia, before starting their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Perth on February 23.
They also meet Thailand and Pakistan in Canberra, before a final group game against West Indies in Sydney.
And Garry Sapsford, head of PE at Shenfield High, will be one of many at her old school watching closely.
He said: "Obviously I am very proud of her progress. Mady was a very good footballer when she started at Shenfield and we introduced her to cricket as a year seven and she proved a real talent from the outset.
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"Her team played in a National Indoor final at Lord's when she was 12, she scored her first century for the school aged 13, made her debut for the school's 1st XI as a 15-year-old against Eastbourne College, taking four wickets in a surprise victory against a very strong independent school.
"Mady also inspired the girls' team to several Essex titles during her time at school and she has come back to Shenfield to coach our Cricket Academy players.
"I have watched her play for Essex on several occasions, then got the opportunity to watch her play for Surrey Stars in the Kia Super League where she shot to fame.
"Her talents were identified by the England Academy and her performances for them and Surrey Stars alerted the England selectors.
"Given her opportunity in the England team last summer Mady grabbed it with both hands, taking key wickets in England's only win of the Ashes series against Australia. She recently played against Pakistan where she again bowled very well and showed her tremendous athleticism in the field.
"Personally I am desperate for her to get the opportunity to bat for England because she is a seriously good batter, in fact she was always a better batter than bowler when at Shenfield.
"Mady is someone we are immensely proud of at Shenfield and we will be eagerly watching her and her team's progress in the World Cup in Australia."
Villiers has also been named in the Trent Rockets squad, alongside Upminster's Beth Langston for the women's version of The Hundred next summer.