Godleman targets final place
Opening batsman Billy Godleman is desperate to right the wrongs that saw England crash out of Under-19 World Cup contention against India in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
England now face Sri Lanka on Wednesday in a Super League play-off semi-final with the prospect of playing Australia or Bangladesh in the final of the World Cup’s second tier.
The Middlesex star - one of England Under-19’s senior batsmen - remains in high spirits ahead of the clash and is buoyed by the prospect of a showdown with the Aussies or the opportunity to exact revenge for the Group D defeat to Bangladesh.
Godleman told ecb.co.uk: “All the boys are still playing for our country. It’s a massive honour. I love playing for England Under-19s.”
“We’re disappointed to be out of the World Cup (proper) but it’s another opportunity for me to get better as a one-day cricketer. It’s just gold dust at the minute. We’ll all just do our best and I’m sure we can beat Sri Lanka.
“We’d love to play Australia and the flip side of that is to play Bangladesh, who we lost to in a close game in the last fixture of the group stages. There’s a nice incentive.
“You’ve got to be realistic. We’re out of the real World Cup - the reason we came here. It’s another fixture for all of us to get better at one-day cricket and work out your own plans to see what suits you and what you can do better.”
Godleman was naturally disappointed with Sunday’s seven-wicket defeat, albeit to one of the World Cup favourites.
He has endured the frustration of entering the tournament in good batting form - he scored 61 in a warm-up victory over defending champions Pakistan - but struggling in England’s crucial matches.
“Everyone’s really gutted. We put a lot of really hard work in and did everything we could do leading up to the quarter-finals, but we just didn’t really play well on the day,” he added.
“We’re out of the (main) tournament now. We spoke about things we could do better but we knew that anyway. It’s just about reinforcing stuff and doing that correctly.
“We played a couple of warm-up games against India and Pakistan, the two strongest sides, so that was good preparation.
“Then we played two weaker teams in Ireland and Bermuda and then we had the two crunch games against Bangladesh and India where I didn’t get millions of runs.
“Everyone’s trying their hardest, myself as well. I’m giving it 100 per cent and at the end of the day, if you’re giving 100 per cent, that’s all you can do really.”
England are familiar with the Sri Lankans having faced them no less than six times during their pre-World Cup trip to Colombo.
Godleman is adamant he and his team-mates can produce the goods at the Royal Selangor Club and extend their involvement in the competition.
“We played there three and a bit weeks prior to coming to Malaysia, so along with Pakistan who we’ve played quite a bit, we know most about Sri Lanka.
“We know where they’re strong and not as strong, as we do with ourselves, but we’ve just got concentrate on our own game and like try and produce some decent performances tomorrow.
“Although Sri Lanka and Malaysia are pretty similar in humidity, the pitches are a lot slower over here and, if you’re put into bat in the morning like the majority of sides are trying, it does a bit as well due to the overhead conditions.
“I’ve learnt a lot but it’s not just about learning. It’s about implementing it in the game and tomorrow is another good opportunity to do that.”