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Best wishes for World Cup glory

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Paul Best has issued a statement of England Under-19's intentions as they gear up for the World Cup in New Zealand later this month.

Best, who was part of the touring party that flew out to New Zealand on New Year’s Day to compete in the showpiece event beginning on January 15, believes England can triumph given the strength in their squad.

“I think we can win it. We have to go in there confident, you can’t go in with a negative mindset at all,” he told ECBtv.

“We are all confident about getting through the group stages and then it’s a case of who turns up on the day.

"We’d like to think that with our skills, and the talent we have got in the dressing room, we can go all the way.”

England Under-19s

Paul Best is confident England Under 19's can prove geniune contenders at the World Cup in New Zealand this month

England face Hong Kong and Afghanistan as well as holders India in their group, and Best is singling out the current champions as predictably the biggest threat without playing down the importance of the two lesser known sides.

“India will be the biggest cricketing force, you would imagine, but again with Hong Kong and Afghanistan, some wildcards, you can’t underestimate teams like that.

“You’ve got to go out and nail your skills and play really confident and aggressive cricket. I’m sure it will be very exciting and there are lots of big moments to look forward to."

Best, who captained his county Warwickshire’s Second XI in 2009, was also part of the squad that toured Bangladesh in October.

While results were poor for the tourists - they lost the one-off Test as well as the one-day series 5-2 - Best and the squad are talking up only the positives as they reach the climax of their preparations.

“We’ve had a month in Bangladesh, we are used to being away and being together as a team so I’m sure all the lads will cope well with that,” he said.

“In terms of results it might have looked like it was a poor tour but a lot of the games were very close.

“All the guys learned a lot about their own games in terms of playing in completely different environments and we can take that forward into New Zealand.”

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