Yorkshire Diamonds all-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards has been tipped for an England call-up by former national captain Charlotte Edwards.
Davidson-Richards, 23, has impressed in the early stages of the Kia Super League, highlighted by an opening-day man-of-the-match display in beating Lancashire Thunder at Headingley on Friday.
She hit a brisk unbeaten 22, took three wickets with her medium pacers and a catch before admitting her confidence is high. But she is refusing to get drawn in by talk of a potential national call-up.
“I got drafted back into the England Academy over the winter and had the chance to go on a couple of tours, which really set me up nicely for the summer,” she said.
“I went to Abu Dhabi a couple of times and also to Mumbai on a spin camp.
“All I’ve been focusing on is keeping everything nice and simple. If I have a good day, great. If not, then not to worry too much.
“Who knows what else could happen?
“All I’m focusing on is these matches. There’s no point thinking too far ahead.
“I don’t see any pressure with it. I just want to enjoy myself. It’s Twenty20 cricket and can go either way.”
Davidson-Richards plays her regular county cricket for Kent, where Edwards played up until last year. She has even captained them this year in the absence of England World Cup winner Tammy Beaumont.
“Alice has worked so hard. Last season I saw a real change in her,” said Edwards, who is still playing in this season’s KSL with the Southern Vipers.
“She had been to Australia that previous winter and came back with a real hunger to play cricket for England.
“We’ve all known how good she is for the last six years or so, but that winter in Australia was the real turning point for her.
“I honestly believe she’s not going to be far away from an England call-up.
“She’s a real leader and such a likeable person around the team. She’s taken to captaincy like a duck to water. Tammy Beaumont is the Kent captain, but she hasn’t been around. Alice has done a great job.”
Davidson-Richards is in her second year of KSL cricket, and her Yorkshire links are strong: “I’m a Yorkie at heart,” she smiled.
“I went to Uni here and my dad’s from Yorkshire, so I’ve got Yorkshire roots. I love winning with this team.”
Her good form is obvious. She showed signs in last night’s (Sunday) low-scoring defeat to Surrey Stars at the Oval, scoring 13 and taking a wicket and a catch.
Prior to the KSL, she had led Kent’s run-scoring charts in one-day and T20 cricket with 288 from 12 matches added to 14 wickets. And she believes her game, along with those of her young team-mates, will only get better by playing with and against some of the game’s best talent during the next three weeks.
Her next encounter sees her come up against Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry when the Diamonds travel to Loughborough on Friday, while she has name checked Yorkshire’s three overseas players Chamari Atapattu, Sune Luus and Sohie Devine as big helps.
She added: “Having Atu, Sune and Soph in the squad, they are helping out all the time and passing on their knowledge.
“It’s just pushing us all forwards playing with these girls and against the other international girls around the competition.”