Barramundis rising in stature with every game

Normal, Sports

The National- Friday, January 28, 2011

 PNG cricket is starting to gain a begrudging respect from observers in the second division of the International Cricket Council.

Bermuda coach David Moore has been impressed with the Barramundis’ take-no-prisioners approach at the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tournament saying he somewhat expected it.

“I’ve coached some of them. They used to come to the cricket academy in Australia with the East Asia Pacific programme,” Moore, an Australian said.

“This is the difference, Australia gets them to come into their cricket academy every year and they run an intensive two-week training camp. 

“And also an EAP select XI goes on and play in the Australian Cricket Country week, those guys get to play a lot of good quality cricket.

“Those guys’ cricket, they’ve come on. It’s no surprise to me that they are, where they are, because they’re very strong, athletic men. 

“They’re hard workers, they’re passionate. 

“If they get to Division Two they’ll be a real handful, a real handful.

“I would say that Papua New Guinea would give every team a shake if they get into Division Two. 

“They’re a tough bunch.”

 The Barras play hosts Hong Kong today in  round five and another win would cement opinion on where they belong in cricket’s pecking order.

USA coach Clayton Lambert, although he would not admit it, conceded that “PNG is a very organised team” after his side’s humiliating seven wicket loss on Tuesday.

But coach Andy Bichel has put his team’s dominant performances down to the basics.

“We’ve just done the basics pretty well so far and maintained our skill level under pressure and that has put us in very strong positions through out the tournament,” the former Queensland and Australian paceman said.

“That’s why we deserve to be in division two.”

Bichel said the Barramundis were still a work in progress and he had at his disposal a large group of players competing for spots in the team and this boded well for PNG’s future.