Chairman: Clubs must widen cricket talent pool

Normal, Sports

The National, Tuesday 04th September 2012

PORT Moresby Cricket Association chairman John Vada is challenging clubs to unearth more talent.
He made the comments during a presentation of K20,000 to the POMCA by the International Training Institute last week.
“The current cricket talent is not enough to produce more quality players. The talent pool needs to be expanded if Papua New Guinea is to break into the next tier of world cricket,” Vada said.
“We need to expand and include villages that don’t normally play cricket; not just the two big villages of Hanuabada and Poreporena but those on the periphery like Tatana and Lealea and even out in Central province.”
Vada said the POMCA was the country’s largest competition and supplied nearly all of the players for the representative teams (Barramundis – men, Garamuts U19, Geckos U17 and Lewas-women) but there was a need for the established villages to create partnerships with neighbouring villages and form smaller leagues to act as feeder competitions to the POMCA.
He said this would not only strengthen the city competition but ensure that quality was maintained.
“Let’s spread the culture of cricket. We need to unearth the potential that’s out there and we can only do this by inviting others to join us.
“Let’s break ranks and go to other villages, create links with them; get leagues (village-based competitions) going and these can act as feeders to the main competition. “We can’t rely solely on the current nurseries, we need to expand so we can find the next batch of stars like Rarua Dikana, Assad Vala and Tony Ura,” he said.
Vada said the association, despite being the largest in the country, was always grateful to sponsors and thanked ITI managing director Senthil Kumaran Senthayal for his commitment to the sport.
Since 2008, ITI has made significant contributions to the POMCA with amounts ranging from K10,000 to K25,000.
It has also provided free basic clerical and computer training for selected players over its five-year relationship with the association.
The training centre will add a further K150,000 in funding over the next three years starting in the 2013-14 season.
The chairman said running a cricket competition was an expensive exercise.
“We have more than 600 players in POMCA in all grades, from juniors to premiers to the women, and the costs of running weekend games are high but we are very grateful to ITI for their continued support.
“Cricket balls cost us K10,000 alone while we spend up to K16,000 on umpiring fees in a season so we are appreciate any support we get.”