Bell a step closer to World Cup dream

FORMER George Town cricketer Gabe Bell said it would be a dream come true if he made the final 15-man Australian under-19 men's team for next year's World Cup.

The 18-year-old former Launceston Grammar student has been selected in the initial 30-member national squad for the World Cup to be held in Dubai from February 14.

"I'm very excited to be picked and relieved, and there has been a lot of hard work going into this year's cricket, so it is good to be rewarded," he said.

"The whole squad is very talented and all the players performed really well at the national championships, and that's why they are in the squad, so I reckon it will be a good team regardless of who is selected.

"I just have to keep working throughout the next few weeks and hopefully put my name up there."

Bell is now based in Hobart on a rookie contract, training with the Tassie Tigers and playing with South Hobart-Sandy Bay in the premier league. He said being around some high-calibre, experienced players was helping to improve his game.

He was selected in a national under-18 talent squad and attended a two-week camp at Cricket Australia's centre of excellence in Brisbane in February and was part of an Australian under-19 team that played an international series against India and New Zealand in Darwin in June.

"The centre of excellence was really good and just to start the year off in a new environment around some very talented current and former players who were coaching us," he said.

"The international series was a really good opportunity for me to play against some extremely high- quality opposition from around the world, and India were a phenomenal team and showed it.

"I performed pretty well and got a few wickets.

"It would mean a lot to me to be able to make the World Cup team and travel overseas playing cricket.

"It will definitely help me to improve my game for the future and give me a taste of international cricket."

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