6 Jan 2016

U-19 cricketers: 'They're not going to put us in any danger'

5:24 pm on 6 January 2016

The New Zealand Under-19 Cricket coach is confident the team will be safe at this month's World Cup in Bangladesh, despite warnings from the government attacks against foreigners could happen at any time.

The Under-19 team relaxing before their flight to Dubai.

The Under-19 team relaxing before their flight to Dubai. Photo: RNZ / Mohamed Hassan

Australia has withdrawn its side this week, saying the threat to them is still high.

But Bob Carter, the NZ Under-19 coach, has brushed off suggestions his team was in any danger.

He said the decision to go to the World Cup was one made by his higher-ups, not him, but he was happy adequate security was in place.

"I've read the briefs, and the people who I know who are running security are very professional, very expert. They're not going to put us in any danger.

"I've spoken to my boss today, and he's quite comfortable with it all. He's followed all the due diligence around security, so I'm happy."

Carter said the news of Australia pulling out had riled up a few parents.

"I think, you know, if you're a parent, it's a little bit like my family, there's always that concern when they hear one team's pulled out."

But he said that was a decision for Australian Cricket, and New Zealand has made its own.

"We've followed our own lines and we've been briefed about all the security arrangements. I couldn't be calmer."

Carter said security concerns were the last thing on the minds of the players.

"They look quite chilled out to me, the only thing they've asked me is 'When's lunch?'.

"We're always talking to them, and we have people who are always advising us."

Auckland Aces newcomer Glen Phillips said he had been dreaming about this moment for years.

"I'm pretty excited. I've been losing sleep the last couple of nights."

He said getting to represent his country on a world level was the ultimate prize.

"Playing for your country is the highest thing you can do, and especially at this age, it's a stepping stone towards higher honors eventually."

Captain Josh Finnie and batsman Glen Philips

Captain Josh Finnie and batsman Glen Philips Photo: RNZ / Mohamed Hassan

Team captain Josh Finnie said he was not too broken up about rivals Australia dropping out of the world cup.

"It's obviously useful for us them not being there, but playing them in Dubai it's gonna be a pretty good time."

Both Phillips and Finnie have played overseas before, with Finnie part of the last World Cup squad.

But for many of the younger guns on the team, it's their first time playing internationally.

Finnie said this year's team was a good mix of experience and young talent.

"It's a good bunch of guys, a few older guys that have played a bit more at the top level, but then we've got a great bunch of young guys that have shown they're fairly talented."

"When you mix that together, that makes a pretty good squad."

The team will fly out to Dubai tonight for a preparatory Tri-Series against Australia and Pakistan, before heading to Bangladesh ahead of their first match on the 28th.

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