KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Durham MCC University student Seren Waters is relishing taking on the best players in the world after being selected in Kenya’s 15-man ICC World Cup squad.
The 20-year-old is part of an eclectic Kenya outfit which includes nine World Cup debutants, alongside experienced names such as 39-year-old Steve Tikolo.
Waters admits the prospect of taking on the likes of world champions Australia and co-hosts Sri Lanka is daunting, but is desperate to seize his rare opportunity.
Waters said: "I’m very much looking forward to playing against the top sides in the world.
"It’s a little bit daunting but more exciting than anything else.
"It’s a great opportunity to play against the best players in the world and one that might not come around again for Kenya. It’s a really exciting time for us."
Opening batsman Waters sealed his place in the squad on a recent acclimatisation trip to India.
During the tour, his first visit to play cricket on the sub-continent, he smashed 130 against Gujarat Cricket Association - the only ton of the trip by a Kenya player.
Despite his fine performance, Kenya were defeated in all five matches and Waters, who has played 14 One Day Internationals, knows adapting to the conditions will be a massive challenge.
He added: "You’ve got to adapt your game a bit to play there but just being in India is an amazing experience.
"It’s completely different to anywhere I’ve ever been and to play cricket there - where it’s such an enormous game - I don’t think there could be a better place to play a World Cup.
"For the first few net sessions we had the wickets took some getting used to.
"You have to be patient and it took some time to work out different scoring areas you might be used to in England or Kenya.
"I think it’s going to be a real challenge for us."
Waters is in his second year of a Geography degree at Durham, where he also benefits from the experience of ex-England international and current Durham MCCU coach Graeme Fowler.
Though juggling international cricket and university studies can be difficult, Waters believes the MCCU programme can provide a huge boost for aspiring cricketers.
"Durham is definitely a good platform for young players." added Waters.
"In the cricket we played last summer the standard was good and we had a chance to play against Durham and Nottinghamshire in first class games which is great.
"The MCCU Challenge competition was good as well and we managed to play a lot of cricket against different opposition.
"It definitely helped me and I definitely saw myself improve as a cricketer in my first year at Durham.
"Also the programme the Uni sets up in terms of our fitness programme is also excellent. I felt I got stronger and fitter in my time there.
"It puts you in good stead to step up to a slightly higher level."
Waters' fellow MCCU student Bradley Kruger, who attends the Leeds/Bradford institution, will also play in the World Cup - for the Netherlands.