BEN Charlesworth is on the verge of realising a childhood dream by representing England at a World Cup.

The former Oxfordshire cricketer is expected to be named in his country’s under 19 squad for the tournament in South Africa, starting in January.

This follows the small matter of a Tri-Series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, with the all-rounder flying out to the Caribbean on Tuesday.

A big few months lie ahead, but the Gloucestershire player is taking it in his stride.

He said: “My main feeling is just excitement.

“I watched the last World Cup at home on TV thinking how amazing it would be to play in that.”

Charlesworth added: “It’s a different feeling wearing the England kit – it’s not easy to describe.

“It’s a very proud moment and something really special.

“Hopefully I’ll be doing it a bit more this winter.”

The former pupil at Oxford’s St Edward’s School, who turned 19 on Tuesday, is among a 16-strong Tri-Series squad which will be shaved to 15 for the World Cup.

Although his seat on the plane to South Africa is not guaranteed, Charlesworth is now an old hand with the under 19s, having first been selected last year.

He said: “It’s difficult to say I’m a regular, but I know the coaching staff quite well, so it’s nice to be embedded in that environment.”

It comes after a 2019 County Championship season where he helped Gloucestershire gain promotion from Division Two.

The youngster hit an unbeaten 77 in a rain-affected draw against Northamptonshire which saw both sides go up.

It continued Charlesworth’s steady progression from club cricket with Oxford and Abingdon Vale and Minor Counties matches with Oxfordshire.

But he is under no illusions that the 50-over games against Sri Lanka and the West Indies will prove a stern test.

He said: “It’s always quite difficult switching from red to white-ball cricket.

“It’s one of the most difficult challenges a young cricketer can face.

“The West Indies bowlers always produce pace and bounce – it’s not easy to play against, but it’ll be a challenge.”

After the World Cup, Charlesworth’s attentions will return to Gloucestershire for the 2020 County Championship season.

With his three-year contract running until 2021, the teenager is now looking to push on.

He said: “Gloucestershire have been outstanding, they were brilliant in giving me that security.

“The next step is to become a real regular and perform at the top of the order.”