The countdown to the 2020 ICC U19 World Cup has well-and-truly begun. The 50-over Youth World Cup will take place in South Africa early next year in January-February and every team has started to fine-tune their set-up for the upcoming quadrennial event.
And, so in a bid to add a bit more experience to their coaching staff, England has appointed former right-handed batsman, Ian Bell as the batting coach of their U19 side. Bell, a stylish batsman of his time who went on to play 118 Tests for his country, and fielding coach Nic Pothas will work under head coach Jon Lewis as the young Lions prepare for the upcoming 50-over tri-series against West Indies U19 and Sri Lanka U19.
Speaking on the appointments of Ian Bell and Nic Pothas, Lewis alluded, “I’m delighted to welcome Ian and Nic to the team for our two tours this winter. After a thorough and open recruitment process, we decided that both coaches were exactly the right fit for the team and the program at this point in time. The experience they have can only add value to the program over a short period of time we have with the players.”
“Ian is one of his generation’s highest run-scorers, whose knowledge and experience of playing under pressure at the highest levels, including multiple World Cups is a brilliant resource for the players to tap into and something that is not always available to them at the county level.
Last chance for England to fine-tune their squad ahead of the U19 World Cup
The tri-series will be the last chance for the young Lions to finetune their preparations for the upcoming U19 World Cup in South Africa. England will be keen to shrug off what was a disappointing tri-series at home against India and Bangladesh. The hosts managed to win just two games out of eight, paving way for India and Bangladesh to contest the finals.
Many players who featured in that tri-series are a part of the upcoming tournament. Scott Currie and Sam Young come into the squad after having shown immense potential over the summer in second-team cricket for Hampshire and Somerset and together for Doret in the National Counties Competition. Wicketkeeper Harry Duke makes an entry into the squad after having earned his spot bases on impressive performances at the ECB Young Lions Super 4 Competition.
While announcing the squad, Lewis said, “With the World Cup on the horizon, this is our last opportunity to assess our squad and decide which 15 players to take with us to South Africa.
“We’ve also taken this opportunity to look at some players who are relatively untested at this level and have the chance to force their way into our World Cup squad.”
England’s tour to the Caribbean will start with two warm-up fixtures against Antigua XI on December 01 and December 03 before the tri-nation series kicks off from December 06 which will go on till December 21, 2019.
England U19 squad for the tri-series in the Caribbean:
George Balderson (c), Kasey Aldridge, Lewis Goldsworthy, Jack Haynes, George Hill, Luke Hollman, Dan Mousley, Hamidullah Qadri, Sam Young, Ben Charlesworth, Tom Clarke, Jordan Cox, Blake Cullen, Scott Currie, Harry Duke (wk), Joey Evison