The City full-back burst onto the international scene in November 2006, with Steve McClaren handing him a senior debut at the age of 18.
It was expected that Richards would become a mainstay in the side for years to come, becoming the natural successor to Gary Neville at full-back.
He has, however, only added 11 caps to his tally since making his Three Lions bow and has featured just once under current coach Fabio Capello - against France in November 2010.
Richards is bemused by his lack of international action, with a number of assured displays for City last season suggesting that, at the age of 23, he has matured into one of the most complete defenders in the country.
He told the Sunday Mirror: "I don't know why I'm not playing for England - but that's something only Fabio Capello can answer.
"Why I haven't been given a chance I can't understand.
"When I came in against France I thought I did well, yet I was left out again for the next international.
"I wasn't even in the squad. When I'm fit I feel I am as good as anyone not just in the Premier League or Europe, but in the world.
"People might say that I am arrogant, but when I am 100 per cent fit and fully focused then I am as good as anyone around.
"I really am that confident.
"I thought I did well last season but I know from my own past experience that if you want people to rate you as a top player then you have to deliver on a consistent basis season after season."
Richards added: "It's frustrating because I can't understand what's happening.
"The manager has never explained his way of thinking to me and it has got to the point where I just don't think about the England thing any more.
"There is so much going on at City now that the only thing I am concentrating on is doing well here and making sure I do enough to keep Roberto Mancini happy.
"If England comes along again then it will be a bonus. But perhaps it's just that Capello doesn't rate me highly enough and I just have to accept that and wait for things to change."