MacLeod focuses on World Cup

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All-rounder Alice MacLeod says the recently-completed England women’s academy tour of South Africa has whetted her appetite for next year’s World Cup.

MacLeod was part of the squad that took on South Africa’s senior side in 50- and 20-over three-match series.

Despite losing both rubbers 2-1, the women’s academy performed admirably, winning two of the six encounters against higher-level opposition.

Alice Macleod

Alice MacLeod has her sights on next year's World Cup after representing England women's academy on their recent tour of South Africa

That bodes well for England’s chances of enjoying success in the World Cup as well as the Twenty20 equivalent, which gets under way in September.

MacLeod is aware of the stiff competition for a place in the squad, yet is confident she has given herself every chance of being included.

“I have done as much as I possibly can I think,” she told ecb.co.uk. “Being on this tour and around girls that are just as hungry as I am drives me even more.

“The series made us realise just how much of a huge thing the World Cup is. The opportunity for that is very, very promising. It is an exciting time for us.”

MacLeod’s returns from the series were impressive; she scored 122 runs in six matches at an average of 30.5 and claimed six wickets.

Speaking about her own performances, she added: “To a certain extent, I was happy - they were reasonable performances and I was pleased to do well against an international side.

“I think, though, that it is always harder to be happy on a personal level when you lose because you always question what you could and should have done better.”

The experience gained in South Africa will undoubtedly benefit MacLeod and co. despite the academy being unable to win either series.

MacLeod was surprised by the intensity shown by the hosts and feels experience was the cornerstone of their success.

“The intent with which they came at us took us by surprise because we all thought if we executed our skills the way we could that the games would be close,” she said.

“But I think maybe their experience of being an international side and the fact they have been a unit for so long gave them the upper hand.

“That meant that whenever they made a mistake, they came back strong because they had that experience that maybe we were lacking at times.”