Barras start tour

Sports

Papua New Guinea Barramundis squad left the country last week for their tour of the United Arab Emirates.
The Hebou-sponsored side arrived in Dubai on Saturday, where they will play three warm-up matches against English County teams Middlesex and Yorkshire, before taking on hosts, UAE, in three One-Day Internationals, an Inter-Continental Cup (ICUP) and three Twenty20 Internationals.
The first two of the three ODIs will be ICC World Cricket League Championship matches.
Barramundis coach Dipak Patel said the team was eager to take on the English County sides.
“Although we did play a number of counties in warm-up games 18 months ago, these games will be close to their full-strength squads,” Patel said.
“We can use this challenge to play against seasoned professionals to prepare for the UAE series.
“The squad is very excited in playing these fixtures,” he said.
“The Barras have been busy with their strength and conditioning and skills training sessions five days a week — their fitness is at a high level.”
The Barramundis welcomed back strike bowler Norman Vanua and former captain and wicketkeeper Jack Vare Kevere into the squad after a lengthy absence due to injury.
Patel said that both players were invaluable assets to the team.
“We are pleased and we welcome them back.
“They both bring so much experience and leadership to the squad. Jack has worked really hard to come back a good month ahead of his rehab.
“Norman also has had a frustrating injury and it’s been slow in responding to his rehab, however he has trained full on for the last three weeks and we are confident his work loads are close where we’d want him for the tour,” Patel said.

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