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01-06-2010, 01:35 AM #1
Anderson eyes World Cup trophy on home soil
Corey Anderson is one of the more well-known members of a young New Zealand side that tops Group C of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010 on the basis of its third seeding.
A left-arm fast bowler and middle-order bat, Anderson represented New Zealand at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia in 2008 where his side finished third. Anderson was his side's leading run-getter with 162 runs and also took two wickets.
Anderson, who is New Zealand's youngest cricketer to gain a contract at the age of 16, is now aiming to go one step further and win the title on his home soil. "We've got a decent side and we should put up a pretty good fight and win the tournament for the first time in our own country.
"It's an honour to be selected for the New Zealand U19 squad. I've been in the squad for a couple of years now but World Cup is always a pretty big occasion. It's always nice to have your name down on that squad sheet," he said.
Anderson, playing down the expectations' factor, said: "I guess there is a bit more expectation on us as the host nation because we should be used to the conditions and what not. I think when the teams go out to play it will be evenly balanced and will be a case of which team performs better on that day.
"I don't think heat is going to be a problem during the tournament as it doesn't get too hot in New Zealand. I don't think the teams are going to be too worried about that but some of the sub-continent teams might find it a bit cold.
"It's a bit hard to say with some of the teams that are coming through at the moment. Obviously the teams change each year with guys moving up into the age group. So you don't always know what the other sides are like."
Joining New Zealand in the Group C are Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Canada. "In the last World Cup, we played Zimbabwe. We had them first up as well and they were reasonably strong and came out and put us on the back foot straight away.
"There are a lot of teams who have got players who can single-handedly destroy the opponents. It only takes one of them to do that on the day and it puts them into the top eight and in a strong position to go forward in the tournament.
"I played against Sri Lanka U21 with the New Zealand A side about a month ago. I'm not sure how many players from that Sri Lanka side will be returning next month but it will be interesting to see who shows up from that selection of players."
Talking about the tournament favourites, Anderson said: "Normally, the likes of India and Pakistan are up there as favourites while Australia and South Africa are the other sides to watch out for."
Discussing his team's preparations, Anderson said: "Our tournament preparations have gone pretty good. With a month to go, we've had a sort of trial against the Sri Lanka U21 side and we competed against them strongly. It was a good experience for the new guys in the team to show their potential, have a feel of what is required at that level and show what value they bring to the side.
"Our camp starts on 1 January and later we will be playing a few warm-up games against Pakistan which will be a good test for us. It will give everyone a good chance to see what a top side is like and then we go straight into the tournament. I think it's all been pretty good preparation and everyone is looking forward to it."
Discussing the players to watch out for from his side, Anderson felt his fellow first-class cricketers Doug Bracewell and Harry Boam were the ones to keep an eye on. "Dougie has played a lot of first-class cricket here and he is a good all-round cricketer.
"Harry is another useful all-rounder who has played a lot of first-class cricket. I feel we've got guys who can do everything. Harry was at the last World Cup also and knows what it's like. It's always good to have that kind of knowledge on your side."
One of the most recent graduates from the New Zealand U19 side is Black Caps' fast bowler Tim Southee who played alongside Anderson in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 2008. "Obviously Tim was with us at the last World Cup and he did exceptionally well by winning the Player of the Tournament award.
"I haven't spoken to any of the Black Caps at the moment but Shane Bond is someone I have had a chance to talk to as he's part of the Canterbury set-up.
"He told me a World Cup a massive step up from first-class cricket. He told me that it's a lot more than I think and advised me to make sure I do a lot of hard work so that I'm ready to play at that level."
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