Seeing the Wood from the trees
England Under-19s have ideal preparation for their World Cup opener versus Australia in August.
On Thursday they face the same opponents at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, Queensland, where the sides will meet again on August 11.
Thursday is the first day of the quadrangular one-day series, also featuring India and New Zealand. Round-robin matches precede semi-finals and the final on April 15.
England play New Zealand and India at Endeavour Park, also in Townsville, where they will meet Ireland at the World Cup before returning to the the Tony Ireland Stadium for their last Group A contest with Nepal.
Nottinghamshire’s Sam Wood, a member of the quadrangular series squad that arrived yesterday, thinks April’s experience will be invaluable.
“It’ll be good for us to visualise the certain surroundings we’re going to have,” he told ecb.co.uk. “We’ll have been there before actually being out there in the World Cup so that’s a massive advantage for us.”
The off-spinning all-rounder toured Bangladesh with the Under-19s earlier this year and took 13 wickets in the first five of seven one-day internationals.
Wood has played for the U19s since the start of last year, but has not faced any of the other sides in the quadrangular series.
“We’ll be coming up against them hopefully in the World Cup, so that’ll be good,” he added.
“I mean we’ve never played these three countries before - this set of players. It’ll be a real eye-opener for us and it’ll be good to play different teams as well.”
As for Australia, Wood wants to “see what players they’ve got and work out a few game plans for them”.
Naturally, he is determined to be selected for the World Cup itself.
“I’d be over the moon,” he revealed. “It’d be a dream come true to play in a World Cup definitely. It’d be absolutely fantastic.”