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Callum Taylor ready for Under-19 Cricket World Cup with England

06:30 20 January 2016

16.05.2015 Chelmsford, England.   Callum Taylor batting during the Essex Eagles and Surrey Natwest T20 Blast match from The Essex County Ground, Chelmsford, Essex. Picture: Unshaken Sport Photography  Nick Wood

16.05.2015 Chelmsford, England. Callum Taylor batting during the Essex Eagles and Surrey Natwest T20 Blast match from The Essex County Ground, Chelmsford, Essex. Picture: Unshaken Sport Photography  Nick Wood

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Taking to the global stage looks set to open up a world of opportunities for Norfolk starlet Callum Taylor.

The 18-year-old former Cromer High School pupil is in Bangladesh with England ahead of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup and is looking to make a big impact.

The big-hitting all-rounder – who became Norfolk CCC’s youngest century-maker at 16 – has been making rapid progress with Essex in recent years.

“Obviously from a team point of view we would like to get through the group stages and get through to the quarter-finals,” Taylor said ahead of the tournament starting on Friday.

“The main objective from a personal point of view is to show the world what I’m about, because the games are being shown live on TV.

Taylor boosts his hopes

Norfolk prospect Callum Taylor hopes he has given his, and England’s, Under-19 World Cup hopes a major boost.

The Essex and Swardeston all-rounder struggled for runs as the team failed to win a match on their pre-Christmas trip to Sri Lanka, but hit the ground running in the final preparations for Bangladesh by top-scoring with 78 from 88 balls in an 125-run friendly victory over South Africa in Dubai on Monday.

“It’s a happy dressing room, and the confidence going into the World Cup will be high,” Taylor said.

“This is probably our first game as a side where we’ve set it up as we’d like, with the players we’ve got coming in down the order.”

Taylor also took a wicket with his medium pace as South Africa were all out for 135 in their reply, losing six wickets for a single run as they tumbled from 98 for three to 99 for six.

“Sri Lanka didn’t go as we wanted as a team and personally yeah, I wanted to score more runs and I didn’t get as much of an opportunity with the ball as I would have liked,” he added, speaking to ecb.co.uk.

“So to get runs early on this tour is a good feeling, and hopefully I can carry that on through now, in the next two warm-up games leading into the first World Cup one.”

“So hopefully, if I get selected, I can put down that marker.”

Taylor, who plays locally for Swardeston when he has time, made the perfect start to his preparation for the tournament by top-scoring with 78 from 88 balls in a 125-run friendly victory over South Africa in Dubai on Monday.

England play further warm-up games against Namibia on Saturday and Bangladesh on Monday before beginning their Group C matches on Wednesday, against Fiji. Further matches in Chittagong against West Indies on Friday, January 29 and Zimbabwe on Sunday, January 31 conclude the group stages ahead of the quarter-finals. The clashes with West Indies and Zimbabwe are also being shown live on Sky Sports, albeit from 3am UK time.

“Fiji is the first game and you’d like to think we’ll win that, but you can never be too sure of yourselves, and then it’s Zimbabwe and West Indies as well,” Taylor continued.

“West Indies will be good, I would imagine, but Zimbabwe I’m not too sure what to expect. So hopefully it will all click together for us.”

The under-19s prepared for the tournament with matches against India and Sri Lanka in Colombo in December. Taylor scored just four in a 52-run defeat to Sri Lanka and 12 in a 20-run loss to India and feels he is capable of much more.

He said: “I wish I would have scored a few more runs but I felt comfortable out there, I felt like I adapted well to the conditions, which were quite tough. I think from a team point of view, we adapted quite well to the conditions but we couldn’t really get all three aspects of the game to come together. When we were over there, most days it was in the 30s, so it was hot to be fair. It was the rainy season though so a lot of the days it was red hot in the mornings but in the afternoon there were thunderstorms, so we’d never really experienced that before.

“So it was good for us to get used to that, but after the first five days or so you get used to the humidity and it is quite nice. I don’t think Bangladesh is quite as hot but we’ll be able to handle it out there now.”

Taylor is contracted to Essex until the end of 2017 and looking to make the most of the opportunities he has ahead of him.

He added: “I’m travelling the world doing something I love, so there’s not much more I could ask for than to be selected for the World Cup side as one of the country’s 15 best under-19s.”

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