The ICC U-19 World Cup is an opportunity for not only the youngsters to showcase their precocious talent on the world stage, but it also gives a chance to all the fans to have a peek at what the future of their favourite teams hold, and who will be the next generation of superstars that will whet their appetite for sumptuous cricket in the coming years. The next edition of the U-19 World Cup is set to be held in the rainbow nation South Africa in mid-January of the coming year.
And, most of the teams have already named their contingent for the upcoming event. Joining the bandwagon, England too announced their squad for the quadrennial event in January. The selectors have named fast bowling all-rounder from Manchester George Balderson as the leader of the pack. The all-rounder will look to emulate the heroics of Owais Shah’s team of 1998 and become only the second English U-19 side to win a Youth World Cup.
Balderson had a great outing in the recently concluded U-19 tri-nation series involving hosts West Indies and Sri Lanka, where he finished as the second-highest wicket-taker, with 15 wickets in five games at an average of 10.17. Balderson was followed by his fellow medium-pace all-rounder in Kasey Aldridge, who finished with 13 wickets in five games at an average of 11.46.
The Lions had a great Tri-series campaign, and even though they faltered at the last hurdle when they lost the final to Sri Lanka, the tournament saw a plethora of good performances by players like skipper Balderson, Kasey Aldridge, Jordan Cox, who scored 77 in the finals, Hamidullah Qadri, Blake Cullen and Dan Mousley, which were enough for Head coach Jon Lewis to be confident ahead of the marquee event.
“I’m excited to see what this squad can do at the World Cup. It will be a great challenge for them both on and off the field, playing in unfamiliar conditions against new opposition in matches that will be televised around the world. Each individual is improving in their specific roles within the side, but in South Africa, we’ll need to ensure these roles all come together to produce good team performances.” England U-19 Head Coach Jon Lewis said as quoted by Times Now.
Jon Lewis confident that England Lions can beat any side in the world
Before the tri-nation series in the West Indies, England Lions hosted a triangular series involving India and Bangladesh in their home summer. The Lions failed to qualify for the finals but played enough good cricket to convince Lewis that his team can beat some of the best sides’ in the world.
“We’ve seen in Antigua, and in our home tri-series this summer against India and Bangladesh, that we can beat some of the best teams in the world,” Lewis said.
England squad for the ICC U-19 World Cup 2020:
George Balderson (c), Kasey Aldridge, Ben Charlesworth, Tom Clark, Jordan Cox, Scott Currie, Blake Cullen, Harry Duke, Joey Evison, Lewis Goldsworthy, Jack Haynes, George Hill, Dan Mousley, Hamidullah Qadri, Sam Young
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