George enjoying his World Cup experience

Three wins out of three saw England ease into the quarter-finals of the Under 19 World Cup.

One of the standout performers has been Somerset’s George Thomas.

The 18-year-old already has 108 runs in the competition at an average of 36 with a best of 52 against Canada in match two.

We caught up with the young batter on Friday to get the very latest from the England camp.

“We’ve had the best possible start to the tournament,” he said. “Not only have we won all our games, but we’ve also pretty much dominated in the three matches. It’s been an unbelievable start from the boys.”

England’s campaign got off to the best possible start with a seven wicket win over Bangladesh, after bowling their opponents out for just 97.

“We went into that first game knowing that they were the winners of the last Under 19 World Cup, so we were expecting a lot from them,” George explained. “However, our bowlers bowled really well, got a few early wickets, kept the pressure on them and kept them to a low score. After the game the mood in the group was really good and it made us believe that we could actually have a decent chance in this World Cup. On paper, that was probably the hardest game in the group, so it was an amazing feeling to win it like we did.”

Up next it was Canada, and 52 runs from George helped England to a 106-run victory.

“We weren’t really sure what the Canadians would come at us with, but we treated it exactly as we would any other game,” George said. “They’re a good side but it was an unbelievable performance by everyone again and we were able to put another dominant performance in. I’ve been delighted that I’ve been given the opportunities that I have, and it was good to get a few out of the middle and bat how I wanted to bat. It was a pretty proud moment for me to reach 50.

“I’m enjoying the role that I’ve been given. Jacob Bethell and I are looking to set a platform in that opening powerplay. Fortunately, we’ve been able to do that in the matches so far.”

Following a comprehensive 189-run win over the UAE, during which George made 41, England qualified for the knock-out stages. What does George think lies ahead for the young England team?

“The competition will get harder from now on, and complacency is something that we work hard on eliminating. We will continue to take each game as it comes and hopefully, we will get the best result that we can.”

What has it been like participating in a World Cup with club colleagues?

“It’s an unbelievable experience,” said George. “James Rew and I were talking about it the other day. When we were growing up, we never thought we’d be doing something like this together. I’ve known him for as long as I can remember and it’s pretty special to be sharing the field with him. Obviously, it’s a big shame that Sonny is missing out and that had a big impact on the team.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to travel the world and I’m very grateful for this opportunity. It’s almost overwhelming to be able to experience these different countries and to play against new teams.”

Does George think that this squad has got what it takes to go all the way in the tournament?

“100%! I genuinely believe that we have a big chance. I back the depth in our squad to be able to deal with any injuries or absences and still bring the cup home.”

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