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Rhodes soaking up stunning Sharjah

Young Yorkshire star Will Rhodes blogs from the United Arab Emirates as England Under-19s compete in the Tri-series against the hosts and Pakistan.

We are now based in Sharjah for the second week of the tour, and the atmosphere is still very positive.

Based next to the lake, a few of the lads decided to eat out at the restaurants on the other side to where our hotel is situated.

The walk around the lake gave a chance to take photos of the spectacular scenery that Sharjah has to offer. The food court at the head of the lake had some great food places although most of the boys chose TGI Friday's, a nice reminder of the food back home.

At the end of the meal, the lads were treated to an unbelievable 'fountain and light water show' that happened on the lake. It was beyond anything that I had ever seen before and the lads said it only gets better when you get to Dubai!

Our most ruthless performance to date on this tour was our game against the UAE in the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Winning the toss and bowling first, we quickly bowled them out for 94 in an impressive bowling and fielding show.

Jonatahn Tattersall has been in the runs for England Under-19s in the UAE, and the team found time to celebrate his 19th birthday out in Sharjah recently

Only their number three showed any real resistance with a score of 45. 'Tatts' [Jonathan Tattersall] and 'Sibbers' [Dominic Sibley] made light work of their opening bowlers finishing the game in 21 overs. An afternoon off was just what we needed.

On our day off during our busy schedule in Sharjah, we decided to head down to Dubai for the day to spend time at the Dubai Mall and some of the things that we saw that day were unbelievable. An indoor aquarium, a full sized indoor ice rink and the giant Burj Khalifa were all mind blowing.

Whilst the other lads were mainly getting lost inside the Mall; Ed Barnard, Saq Mahmood, Tatts and I were asked to go to the official launch of the Under-19 World Cup fixtures.

It was a great experience for us as we got to see how firstly the draw worked which was then followed by a mini press conference in which ex under-19 world players - Ahmed Shehzad from Pakistan and Dinesh Chandimal from Sri Lanka - answered questions on their experiences of playing at an Under-19 World Cup.

Jonny Tattersall was also invited onto the stage to answer questions on how we thought the CWC would go and what it meant to represent your country at an ICC global event.

It's always great when it's one of the lads' birthdays on tour (Happy birthday to my roomie Jonny Tattersall by the way). One reason is that the whole tour party goes out for a team meal and also because the cost is covered by the ECB. A free meal is always a good meal!

Finchy, Jonesy and Lew McManus did a great job in organising the whole night and the venue was fantastic, which was coincidentally the only place in Sharjah to sell alcohol legally.

When the main part of the evening came, 'The Speeches', it was unfortunately my turn to talk for two minutes about the incredible facial hair that I had grown over the previous two weeks.

The night concluded with Matthew Fisher, our 16-year-old opening bowler, singing all of his Barmy Army songs on the bus ride home. Fair to say he is looking forward to joining up with the real Barmy Army out in Melbourne where he travels to straight after we leave from Dubai.

We now head back down to Dubai for the remaining week of our tour for the last two group games and then hopefully the final.

The mission to beat Pakistan still goes on, but we feel as a group that a well-deserved victory is just around the corner. A win in the final of the tri-series against them would definitely come as an early Christmas present to all involved!

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