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13th January 2010

Ben Stokes England U19 World Cup Blog

“I think we played pretty good considering we’ve not played an actual match for a while.  I think we did OK on the whole, especially against Papua New Guinea – we performed really well which was pleasing.

“I was delighted to start the warm up fixtures with a fifty, especially when I wasn’t even meant to be playing in that game! It’s always good to get some runs under your belt.  It would have been nice to have had a better individual performance against New Zealand, especially as I lived here for a few years .

“Although it’s disappointing to lose games it’s preferable to do it in the warm ups than in the World Cup competition.  I can’t wait to start playing in the World Cup, I really just want to get started.

“We’ve been doing plenty of training, with fitness and gym sessions as well as weekly aerobic sessions.  Our net sessions have been going really well too so hopefully that will stand us in good stead – we’ve been working really hard.

“I’m rooming with Ateeq Javid from Warwickshire and he’s a pretty good room mate, we get on well as does the whole team really – it’s the same group that went out to Bangladesh before Christmas so we’ve toured together before, which makes things a bit easier. 

“We have had a couple of days off and we tend to go into town or do a bit of shopping, I did manage to catch up with some old school friends in Wellington last week, which I really enjoyed.  I still have some family over here and the other night they invited the team over for a BBQ – I got to see some aunties, uncles and cousin that I hadn’t seen for ages so it was great to catch up.

“Playing in the first team for Durham this year has definitely helped me prepare for this trip, the standard was completely different to what I had experienced in Academy and Second XI fixtures so it opened my eyes and helped me raise my game which was important when we were coming out here to play against such tough opposition.

“Hong Kong, Afghanistan and India are in Group A with us and we definitely consider India our main competition, wins against Hong Kong and Afghanistan would give us lots of confidence before our match against them, which is the final group fixture.”  

We’ll catch up with Ben later on in the competition so make sure you check the website for his latest blog.

Group A: India, England, Afghanistan, Hong Kong
Group B: South Africa, Australia, Ireland, USA
Group C: New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada
Group D: Pakistan, Bangladesh, West Indies, Papua New Guinea

Jan 16
England v Hong Kong, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln

Jan 18
England v Afghanistan, Queen Elizabeth II Park, Christchurch

Jan 21
India v England, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln

Jan 23-29:
Super League and Championship Plate quarter-finals, semi-finals and play-offs

Jan 28:
Plate Championship final, McLean Park, Napier

Jan 30:
Super League final, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln