Giles motivated by own near-miss
Ashley Giles has called on his England one-day side to go a step further than he managed and win the Champions Trophy.
Giles, the England limited-overs coach, was part of the side that reached the final of the event the last time it was staged in England in 2004. With the game at The Oval seemingly well within their grasp, England were thwarted by an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 71 in 15 overs between Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw which took West Indies to a two-wicket victory with seven balls to spare. England are the only one of the eight sides competing in this year's event which are yet to win a global 50-over trophy.
Now, though, Giles feels England have "an opportunity" to shed that unwanted tag and has welcomed the ECB's decision to set a World Cup win in 2015 among their targets in a new strategic plan.
"I played in the last Champions Trophy [in England in 2004] and I know what it's like to lose in a final," Giles, who played in the game but was not asked to bowl, said. "It would be good to go one better this time.
"We've an opportunity to win it this year. In these conditions, we should be a strong side. We've been very strong in all forms. We do have a strong squad and there is an opportunity there. I'm really excited about joining up with the guys next week and I'm sure they will be. There's a good group of people."
Giles realises, however, that despite home advantage and a run of form that saw England reach No.1 in the ODI ratings in the last 12-months, nothing can be taken for granted. The condensed nature of the event means that one poor day is likely to cost a side dear and England will be without the injured Kevin Pietersen.
"We've no God-given right to win it," Giles continued. "It is a big target. But your targets should be big; they would not be challenging if they weren't. We all know we have not won a 50-over world competition. Things need to fall into place, form is important, and it is important in our strategy as well that we go into that World Cup as No. 1 in the world to give ourselves a real good chance, but certainly it is feasible.
"We know the Ashes is around the corner, but the Champions Trophy means a lot to these players and to me. If we get our form right and our timing right and keep people fit then we have an opportunity. It's an exciting year.
"Everyone has done fantastic things over the last few years and now we just need to build on that. We have a squad of players who are quite possibly capable of winning that World Cup."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo