Wakely eyes World Cup glory
The England Under-19 squad began their World Cup mission with captain Alex Wakely insisting he will not be happy unless they return with the ultimate prize.
Northamptonshire all-rounder Wakely will lead the side during a warm-up tournament in Sri Lanka this month, before flying on to Malaysia for the showpiece event.
The squad land in Colombo on Friday to prepare for a triangular competition with Sri Lanka and Pakistan, as well as four practice matches aimed at helping them acclimatise to the testing sub-continental conditions.
Though the World Cup does not get under way until February 17, Wakely made no secret of his intentions before he and his team-mates flew out.
“My ultimate goal, and realistic goal, is to captain the team to World Cup glory,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“The team behind me is one of incredible talent and desire and bringing the World Cup home is a real possibility.”
Wakely numbers Pakistan and India among the best sides in the tournament, and is under no illusions over the size of the task facing his players in temperatures which could reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
But he remains confident England’s talented squad can use the World Cup as a platform to show their talents.
“Competing against the best teams in the world in the climate of Malaysia is a challenge in itself,” Wakely added.
“The tough, playing schedule when combined with the climate will be the main challenge of the World Cup but one which me and the team are looking forward to.
“I have seen the way my team has prepared and performed leading up to this World Cup I feel that England will be a great team to watch in Malaysia.”