• World Twenty20 2012

Briggs hopeful he has done enough to earn start

ESPN staff
September 19, 2012
Danny Briggs hopes to get the nod on Friday © Getty Images

England spinner Danny Briggs is hopeful he has done enough to secure his place in the team for the opening World Twenty20 match against Afghanistan on Friday.

Briggs, 21, has delayed his wedding in order to take his place in the England squad for the tournament in Sri Lanka, and pressed his case for inclusion in the team for the tournament proper with a three for 15 spell of bowling in Wednesday's warm-up victory over Pakistan.

Regardless of whether or not he gets the nod from head coach Andy Flower and captain Stuart Broad, Briggs believes confidence in the camp is high ahead of the defence of the title they won two years ago.

"We've played really well the first week, and to get two wins under our belt is perfect preparation really for that first match on Friday," Briggs said. "We're really looking forward to that now.

"To keep them down to 90-odd in 20 overs and take those wickets as well is good. That gives us confidence, because we might have a situation in the tournament where that comes about again.

"This week has been good preparation to play against any side."

On his own chances of starting the opening game, he added: "I hope so. It's come out well in both games, and that's all you can do really."

However, former England wicketkeeper Alec Stewart is still insistent the team are worse off without the ostracised Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen, who is commentating on the World T20 after being omitted from the squad, also found out this week that he will not be going on the Test tour of India later this year - as his dispute with the ECB is still to be fully resolved.

Stewart, however, is adamant the issue has weakened the team.

"I know Kevin is desperate to get back playing again for England and I just hope that the issues that have arisen are eventually cleared up so that England are then able to pick their very best players for all forms of the game," Stewart told the BBC.

"Once the healing process has taken place, I would hope KP will be accepted back into the dressing room and any anti-KP factions within the team have been broken up."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.