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Willey dreams of successful summer

— 24 April 2019

By Graham Hardcastle

David Willey is allowing himself to dream about World Cup glory and adding the most memorable of snaps to the family photo album.

Willey is trying his best not to look too far ahead as he knows there is a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and the July 14 final at Lord’s, not least his call-up to play in the tournament being rubber-stamped.

After all, England’s 15-man squad named last week is only a provisional party.

But, with a second child having just been born – a little girl called Maeve – and a home World Cup on the horizon, it is understandable that his mind has wandered to the very best-case scenario.

“With two little ones now, to play in a home World Cup would be a dream come true. It doesn’t get better than that,” the Yorkshire all-rounder said.

“My second one was born three weeks ago, and she’s an absolute dream.

“She sleeps a lot during the day, so I think she’d be alright coming to games. It’s just Jacob that my wife (Carolynne) would have to run around after.

“It would be an amazing feeling if we could go all the way and win it. That would be a lovely family photo.

“But that’s a long way off. First and foremost it’s about getting in the squad and playing well.”

  • Willey, 29, admits it was a relief to see his name in the provisional squad having played the most recent of his 42 career ODIs last July when India were in England.

    “You never quite know which way the selectors are going to go,” he said.

    “It’s only a preliminary squad anyway, so it doesn’t actually mean a great deal yet.

    “Things can change. But to be in there to start with is good and there’s a chance to make that spot my own against Ireland and then Pakistan.

    “Last year, against India and Australia, I felt I did well with both bat and ball and hopefully I can repeat that.

    “I not only want to be in the squad, but in the starting XI. That’s the main goal.”

    As the former Northants man alludes to, there is plenty of time to prove he is worthy of a place in the squad and then hopefully a starting berth for the opening pool match against South Africa at the Kia Oval on May 30.

    He is in the squads for a solitary one-day international against Ireland next month and then five matches against Pakistan, with the last of those at Emerald Headingley on May 19.

    Willey has played three of the four Royal London One-Day Cup matches he is available to Yorkshire for, and he will depart after Friday’s home clash with Derbyshire for an England training camp.

    He has claimed a pair of two-wicket hauls and hit a best of 40 as the Vikings have started their North Group campaign with a win, a tie and a defeat, the latest being a nail-biting home Roses loss by one run to Lancashire on Sunday.

    Yorkshire are set to recall captain Steve Patterson for Friday’s fixture after he was rested against Lancashire.

    Adil Rashid was initially only made available for the first three group matches, so he may have made his last county appearance before the World Cup.

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