HYDE cricketer George Balderson admits he is looking forward to finding out if he can lead England to World Cup glory.
The seam bowler, who played at Werneth Low last season in the Cheshire Premier League, has been named as captain of his country’s Under-19 side for the tournament in South Africa.
And the 19-year-old, who also stars for Lancashire’s second XI, is eagerly looking forward to getting in on the action.
He said: “I can’t wait to get started in South Africa and see what we can achieve.”
Balderson’s bid gets underway with a group match against the West Indies on Monday, January 20 before further matches against Australia on January 23 and Nigeria on January 25, all taking place in the city of Kimberley.
It is hoped Jon Lewis’ side can go all the way to the final in Potchefstroom on Sunday, February 9 and he certainly showed good form going into the competition.
After taking a total of 22 wickets and scoring 649 runs for Hyde in the 2019 season at club level, he stepped up to international level with aplomb.
In 2019, he scored 133 runs with the bat and collected nine wickets for 261 runs.
For at a warm-up tournament in the Caribbean against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, he came second in the wicket-taking charts.
“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,” said head coach Lewis.
“I look forward to seeing how we can take that confidence into the pressurised environment of a World Cup.
“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.
“The series in Antigua has shown that our core group of players can perform well in a challenging environment.
“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 are looking to improve on a seventh placed finish in the last Under-19 World Cup in 2018, when they lost a dramatic quarter-final to Australia.
Squad: George Balderson (Lancashire), Kasey Aldridge (Somerset), Ben Charlesworth (Gloucestershire), Tom Clark (Sussex), Jordan Cox (Kent), Scott Currie (Hampshire), Blake Cullen (Middlesex), Harry Duke (Yorkshire), Joey Evison (Nottinghamshire), Lewis Goldsworthy (Somerset), Jack Haynes (Worcestershire), George Hill (Yorkshire), Dan Mousley (Warwickshire), Hamidullah Qadri (Kent), Sam Young (Somerset).