Barras Dubai-bound

Normal, Sports

The National, Monday October 28th, 2013

 CRICKET PNG announced their 15-man Barramundis squad for the upcoming International Cricket Council World T20 qualifiers to be held in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Ararb Emirates, from November 12-30.

The Hebou-sponsored Barramundis are pooled with 2012 T20 qualifier runners-up, Afghanistan, who are one of the tournament’s favourites to progress through to the T20 World Cup after securing a spot in the One-day World Cup earlier this month. 

Division One cricket heavyweights, Netherlands, Scotland and Kenya are also pooled with the Barras with Nepal, Bermuda and Denmark rounding off Pool B.

Pool A consists of current champions, Ireland and also features division one teams Namibia, Canada and hosts UAE. 

The other four qualifying teams include Italy, Uganda, USA and Hong Kong.

The chances of qualifying for the ICC World T20 World Cup have increased with the ICC expanding the number of teams able to qualify for the T20 World Cup from two teams to six teams. 

The Barramundis finished 8th in the last qualifiers held last year after finishing fourth in their pool to narrowly miss out on the qualifying stage.

PNG captain, Chris Amini was optimistic ahead of the tournament.

“We’ve been working very hard in all aspects of our game in Adelaide thus far and will ensure that we are ready to take any challenge thrown at us in Dubai. This is the best preparation we’ve ever had for a tournament,” Amini said.

“We know it won’t be easy, as all 16 teams will be fighting for only six spots. We’ve got to be at the top of our game throughout the tournament and play each game as if it’s our last. We were so close last year and we’ve learned from where we went wrong and have been working very hard to fix those areas.” 

The Barras play two warm-up matches against rivals Uganda and pre-tournament favourites, Ireland. 

The Barramundis are currently in a training camp in Adelaide where they have been fine tuning their skills, fitness and game plans before they fly to Dubai on Nov 8.

The Barramundis: Chris Amini (c), Jack Vare (v/c), Assad Vala, Tony Ura, Vani Vagi Morea, Geraint Jones, Chris Kent, John Boge Reva, Willie Gavera, Charles Amini Jr, Mahuru Dai, Andrew Hicks, Norman Vanua, Pipi Raho, Kila Pala. Non-travelling reserves: Raymond Haoda Jr, Lega Siaka, Jason Kila, Kabua Vagi Morea.

World T20 Qualifiers Fixtures:

Pool B – Nov 15 PNG vs Kenya;

Nov 16 PNG vs Netherlands; Nov 17 PNG vs Afghanistan; Nov 19 PNG vs Nepal; Nov 21 PNG vs Scotland; Nov 22 PNG vs Denmark; Nov 24 PNG vs Bermuda.