Barras target jump in rank

Main Stories, Sports

The National- Wednesday, January 19, 2011

 CLIMBING the International Cricket Council (ICC) world rankings and breaking into the top 18 is the overall goal for the PNG Barramundis this year according to Cricket PNG chief execuitve officer Bill Leane.

He said this after releasing the team for the Pepsi ICC Wolrd Cricket League Division 3 one-day tournament in Hong Kong starting tomorrow.

Leane, who has high hopes for PNG at the tournament, said this would be the first step on the road to breaking into the top 18 of world cricket.

“This tournament will help improve our ranking and make make our passage into major tournaments smoother,” Leane said of the Hong Kong trip.

“We need to win this or come second so we can progress to the next major tournament and eventually crack the top 18.”

PNG is currently classified as a third tier cricket nation but has performed consistently at tournaments only to fall short at the final hurdle.

“The plan is to do very well in Hong Kong and hopefully improve our ranking and then qualify for the Intercontinental Cup which is basically the second tier of international cricket.”

The benefits of reaching that apex for Cricket PNG would be increased funding from the ICC and more international fixtures.

“If we make the top 18 we will qualify for the Intercontinental Cup which is for countries which are on the verge of one-day and test status.

“PNG would then be playing test-style three- day matches against an array of opponents from Zimbabwe to Ireland and Afghanistan.”

On the funding side Leane said if PNG’s ranking improved significantly CPNG would be elligible for ICC funding to the tune of K1 million.

He added that PNG stood a good chance of winning the tournament and was confident the 12 players picked would do the country proud.

“We’ve got a balanced side and I know the boys will do well.

“And for the ones who missed out this is not the end, there’ll be other tournaments and the selectors will be watching players,” he added.

PNG play their first match on Saturday against Oman and then Italy the following day.

The Barramundis third match is against USA next Tuesday followed by Denmark the next day before they take on hosts Hong Kong on Friday.

The finals of the tournament will then be played the next day (Saturday Jan 29).

The PNG Barramundis: Rarua Dikana (c), Chris Amini (vc), Kapena Arua, Hitolo Areni, Mahuru Dai, Jack Vare, Chris Kent, Raymond Haoda, Jason kila, Loa Nou, Kila Pala and Willie Gavera.