Yorkshire’S Harry Brook has spoken of his delight after it was confirmed this week that he will lead England out at the Under-19 World Cup.
Brook, who won plaudits for a debut season with the White Rose county in the summer, has been handed the daunting task of turning around his country’s dire recent record in the biennial tournament when the squad travel to New Zealand on January 3.
They will play group games against Namibia, Bangladesh and Canada and the Burley-in-Wharfedale teenager believes they can become the first England side to win the tournament since their last final appearance in 1998.
“I’m very happy with the group we’ve been drawn in,” he said.
“There’s no point in going out there if we don’t think we can win it.
“Our aim first of all is to win our group.”
I definitely have a clear picture of what my best team is, but it’s a case of having a chat with Jon and seeing what he thinks.Harry Brook
Brook was speaking on his return from South Africa, where his side were narrowly edged out by the hosts in the final of a tri-series with Namibia.
Despite the final defeat the youngster said it served as the perfect preparation for the World Cup.
“We’ve come a long way since September, definitely,” he continued
“A few of the lads didn’t really know each other and there have been quite a lot of new blokes so everybody has come out of their shell a lot more and has got to know one another.”
Brook will head up the trip to New Zealand alongside a new coaching staff of head coach Jon Lewis, former England batsman Jonathan Trott and Neil Killeen.
“I definitely have a clear picture of what my best team is, but it’s a case of having a chat with Jon and seeing what he thinks,” he added.
“South Africa has definitely helped us with that.”
Brook, the only Yorkshireman in the World Cup squad, hammered 217 runs at an average of 72.3 in the series and said that the pressure of captaincy does not have an impact on his game. “There is too much talk about all this. It shouldn’t put you off your game because when you’re batting that’s all you should be thinking about,” he said.
“I’m generally pretty relaxed about that so it doesn’t affect me much.”