The National, Wednesday 19th September, 2012
IN a major boost to Cricket PNG, the PNG Hebou Barramundis have been invited to compete in the inaugural Queensland T20 country challenge in Bundaberg from Sept 29-30.
The T20 challenge will feature seven regional teams from across the state as well as the Barramundis. They will be split in two pools.
The Northern Conference pool includes Far North Fusion, North Queensland Monsoons, Central Queensland Seamers and Mackay/Whitsundays Nitros while the Southern Conference will consist of the PNG Barramundis, Wide Bay Flames, Darling Downs Suns and the South East Queensland Stormers.
The tournament will be a round-robin series played in the T20 format with the northern conference to be held at Harrup Park, Mackay and the southern conference at Salter Oval, Bundaberg.
The winners of both conferences will get the rare opportunity to play at the famous “Gabba” as the curtain-raiser to the Brisbane Heat’s KFC T20 Big Bash league clash against the Perth Scorchers on Dec 18.
This tournament is a new concept brought to the table by the Queensland Country Cricket Association and the Queensland Bulls Masters as they increase the opportunities for country cricketers to gain selection into the Queensland Bulls or Brisbane Heat.
It will be played in front of the Queensland selectors as players from the regional teams as well as the Barramundis will be given the opportunity to impress the selectors and press their claim for a contract with the Heat or Bulls.
The state selectors will also pick a team to play as the Country Inferno in the KFC T20 challenge in Brisbane on Sunday 14 and 28 Oct 14 and 18 and Nov 18 against three selection sides made up of the cream of the crop from the state’s premier grade competition.
Cricket PNG general manager Greg Campbell was very excited when he received an email from Queensland Cricket advising that PNG had been invited to the new tournament.
“It’s a golden opportunity for one of our boys to claim a contract with the Bulls or the Heat. We’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this and thanks to Queensland Cricket; they’ve opened a door for one of us.”