Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 16 (IANS) The newest ‘boy’ in English cricket, 21-year-old Ollie Pope is more or less clear that he does not see himself in the scheme of things when the England team is selected for the upcoming World Cup to be played shortly in his home country.
In an exclusive chat with IANS, Pope, who is part of the visiting England Lions squad who is here in Kerala playing five One-Day Internationals (ODI) and a four-day match against the India A side, said his chances of being in the senior side for the World Cup are very very slim.
“We are currently the first ranked side in ODI. Our team is fairly well set and there are practically very few slots to be filled. Hence my first objective now, after my debut against India last year is the upcoming Ashes,” Pope said.
Pope has been a regular in the Surrey sides in the under 13, 14,15 , 17, before making his debut for the senior Surrey side in 2017.
“Right now, I am planning to make use of each and every opportunity that’s before me, including this tour, to seal my spot for the Ashes. The long term plan is to play for my country in all the three formats,” Pope said.
A first timer to Kerala, Pope said he played in Sri Lanka and UAE and is looking at the sub-continent exposure to harness his batting skills, for bigger challenges ahead.
“I would like to thank my coaches in Surrey which includes former Australian player Michael Di Venuto, Alex Stewart and Vikram Solanki for grooming me in the proper way and have come this far,” Pope said.
On his most fortunate moments , Pope said it was playing test cricket alongside his cricketing idols Alistair Cook and Joe Root, when he played with them against India in the two Tests that he has played so far.
And among his opponents, Pope has the highest regard for the Indian side especially Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara.