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Player Diary: George Balderson

Player Diary: George Balderson

Lancashire youngster George Balderson checks in from South Africa, where he is preparing to lead England Under-19s at the World Cup

Hi everyone,

I am writing this from England’s training base in South Africa, ahead of our opening match of the ICC Under-19 World Cup, the tournament kicked off yesterday with the hosts in action and our campaign starts in Kimberley on Monday against West Indies.

It was a huge honour to be named captained of an extremely talented group of lads and our confidence is high as we head into a tournament which has been famous for producing some of the biggest names in world cricket including Ben Stokes, Virat Kohli and more recently Shimron Hetmyer.

Our two warm-up matches ahead of the tournament have brought about mixed experiences, in our opener against Zimbabwe we had bowled them out cheaply for 116 and I was pleased to claim bowling figures of 3/16, before a huge storm hit Pretoria and ended the game, just one over into our chase.

Unfortunately, we were beaten by Afghanistan in our final warm-up in Hammanskraal on Tuesday. After restricting them to 205-8, we were disappointed to fall short by 21 runs – but the setback has made the lads all the more determined going into Monday’s opener.

As a pace bowler, it’s been great to work with our Head Coach Jon Lewis on this trip and during in tri-series in Antigua before Christmas. Jon played at the highest level for England in both Test and ODI cricket, as well having a fantastic county career, so it’s been fascinating to hear from somebody with his experience.

I’m really excited about our chances at this tournament and as I touched on earlier this is a really talented squad. Several have first-team experience for their counties, including Worcestershire batsman Jack Haynes, Gloucestershire all-rounder Ben Charlesworth, off spinner Hamidullah Qadri and wicketkeeper Jordan Cox, who are both at Kent.

As well as West Indies, we’re also in Group B alongside Australia and Nigeria, with the top two progressing into the next round. I am looking forward to updating you on my progress later in the tournament, when hopefully we have reached the latter stages.

All the best,
George

Roses Match: Tickets on sale

Grab your tickets now for the iconic Lancashire Lightning v Yorkshire Vikings Roses Match at Emirates Old Trafford on Friday 10 July.

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Don’t miss out on this fierce rivalry and book your tickets now, with adults from £20 and juniors from £5.

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