We fancy our chances – Harry Brook bullish about England hopes at T20 World Cup

Harry Brook admits England “fancy our chances” at the T20 World Cup and is feeling fitter, faster and fresher than ever as he looks to play his part.

The defending champions kick off their campaign against neighbours Scotland in Barbados on Tuesday and are among the favourites to be back at the Kensington Oval for the final at the end of the month.

And Brook was in no mood to puncture that optimism as the squad limbered up for their first training session across town at the 3Ws Oval – named after West Indian greats Frank Worrell, Clyde Walcott and Everton Weekes.

“Everybody’s really excited. We fancy our chances. We’ve got a very good side, good squad depth around T20 cricket and we’re confident we can bring it home again,” he said.

If his words represented a step up on the usual ‘one game at a time’ playbook, then Brook’s enthusiasm is understandable having rejoined his team-mates after an emotional, extended absence.

The 25-year-old withdrew from the five-match Test tour of India in January after his beloved grandmother took ill and he pulled out of the Indian Premier League when she passed away, before kicking off the domestic season with Yorkshire.

While professional matters took a backseat to personal ones, he used his time away from the international treadmill to sharpen up physically. He now looks in the best condition of his career, visibly slimmer than before and ready to reap the benefits.

“I had that long break – four or five months off – so I just tried to nail it as soon as I got home,” he said.

“I just tried to train as hard as possible, trying to lose a bit of weight and trying to get a bit leaner.

“I think for me batting in the middle order, taking twos are going to be quite a big thing for my game. I’ve been trying to get quicker at running over the last 12-18 months so hopefully it’s made a difference. It’s fast hands as well, losing a bit of weight may make your hands go a bit quicker, and it helps in the field as well.

“It wasn’t in the nicest circumstances but that time with family was the most important thing for me. Trying to spend as much time as I could with my grandma at that time was the right call and I don’t regret it for a minute.

“But I did try and nail as much practice and fitness as I could and get myself in the right headspace. I had been travelling a lot so to have that little break from cricket was good and I was raring to go again when I went back and played for Yorkshire.”

England managed to avoid morning showers to get a full net session in on Sunday morning and they will be hoping for similar luck when they take on Scotland, with the forecast already giving some cause for concern.

Ninety extra minutes are available before the game begins to be reduced, down to a minimum of five overs per side. In theory, at least, a shorter match works against the favourites as the margin for error narrows.

“Every game is important in a World Cup, we’ve just got the hope and pray the weather does stay away and we can get a game in,” said Brook.