Colombo: England captain Stuart Broad said on Friday he was excited to be leading the defending champions at next week's World Twenty20 despite the absence of star batsman Kevin Pietersen.
Pietersen, who was Man of the Tournament when England won the 2010 edition in the Caribbean, has been kept out of the squad for disciplinary reasons since the second Test against South Africa last month. The South African-born batsman was axed after it was revealed he had sent "provocative texts" to opposition players, some of which were allegedly critical of then England Test captain Andrew Strauss.
"The 15 guys that are here are very excited to represent England in a world tournament," Broad told reporters on the team's arrival for the 12-nation tournament that opens on Tuesday.
"I am extremely proud to lead those guys into play. It's a great challenge for all of us. Not many guys have played in an ICC tournament. But eight of us were involved when we won the World T20 last time. I have full faith in the side I have got."
England go into the tournament with their confidence boosted by a 28-run win over South Africa in a Twenty20 game in Birmingham on Wednesday that helped them draw the series 1-1.
Broad said the key to doing well in the tournament rested on how quickly they adjusted to the conditions in Sri Lanka. "We have to adapt very quickly," he said. "Some of the boys may not have much experience in the sub-continent, but that does not mean they are not good enough. We are looking at the warm-up games to get a momentum and have the guys get used to the conditions."
England take on Australia on Monday and Pakistan on Wednesday in two warm-up games in Colombo ahead of their first group A match against Afghanistan on September 21. India are the other team in the group, from which two teams will qualify for the Super Eights round.
Broad, who leads in Twenty20 - Alastair Cook now captains England in Test and one-day cricket - said he was "relaxed and enjoying" the job. "We do not want to plan too much because anything can happen in Twenty20," he said.
"You have to think on your feet and just go with your guts. We have guys in the dressing room who can win the title. Now we have to perform the roles we have assigned to each other. And if we do that, we have as good a chance as any other side in the tournament."