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England choose U19 World Cup squad

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The ECB has announced the England squad for the ICC Under-19 World Cup, which takes place in New Zealand from January 15-30 2010.

The bi-annual tournament involves 16 teams, with England facing Afghanistan, Hong Kong and India in the group stages.

England U19 squad

Michael Bates (Hampshire)
Paul Best (Warwickshire)
Danny Briggs (Hampshire)
Nathan Buck (Leicestershire)
Jos Buttler (Somerset)
Chris Dent (Gloucestershire)
Matthew Dunn (Surrey)
Calum Haggett (Somerset)
Ateeq Javid (Warwickshire)
Jack Manuel (Worcestershire)
David Payne (Gloucestershire)
Azeem Rafiq (Yorkshire)
Joe Root (Yorkshire)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
James Vince (Hampshire)

Worcestershire's Jack Manuel is the only new name from the squad that toured Bangladesh, while James Goodman and Charlie Roebuck drop out.

England U19 coach Mark Robinson (also Sussex professional cricket manager) has been seconded to the role for the duration of the tournament, and will be spending time with the squad over the next four weeks getting to know the players before selecting a captain.

Jack Manuel

Worcestershire batsman Jack Manuel featured in the summer's U19 matches, but missed the winter tour to Bangladesh

The 15 players will undergo an intense period of training in the run-up to the tournament, including fitness and skill work at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough, fielding and team building in Cardiff, leadership challenges at the army base at Catterick, Yorkshire, and fitness and fielding at Manchester United's training ground at Carrington.

The squad will leave on January 1 for Wellington, New Zealand, where they will spend a week acclimatising before reporting to Christchurch for the start of the World Cup.

England will play two warm-up matches against Papua New Guinea U19s on January 11 and New Zealand U19s on January 12.

England’s first match in the group stages will be against Hong Kong on January 16, followed by Afghanistan on January 18 and current U19 World Cup holders India on January 20. The top two teams in each group will progress to the quarter-finals.

Elite player development manager John Abrahams said: “The U19 World Cup is a fantastic opportunity for the squad to test themselves against some of the most talented young cricketers in the world.

“We will be working hard over the next six weeks to ensure that we are able to produce our best cricket in New Zealand.”

England’s best result at the U19 World Cup was in 1998, when a side captained by Owais Shah defeated New Zealand to win the tournament.