By ROBINSON LEKA
CRICKET Papua New Guinea (CPNG) is backing the national men’s cricket team to win their maiden Twenty-20 World Cup match against hosts Oman on Sunday (8pm start, PNG time).
Despite a tough two years for the Kumul Petroleum Barramundis, CPNG general manager Tony Naidu told The National that the team had received some much-needed game time in the build-up to the opener at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground.
“The Barramundis had a tough two years since we qualified, with the Coronavirus (Covid-19) restricting our ability to play international cricket,” he said.
“I believe we will win against Oman on Sunday.
“Having the tour of Oman and the United Arab Emirates in advance of the World Cup has given our coaches and players an opportunity to work out the rust they understandably had.
“Now is the time to perform at their best, the time for them to embrace this historic moment and take the field against a strong Oman side playing at home.
“Our boys will play with pride, representing their country, villages and families.
“We want all of PNG to get behind our team, playing at the highest level in the world, making history.
“So let’s all back the Barras.”
Meanwhile, former CPNG general manager Lee McDowell said the opener would be the pinnacle of cricket in the country with the Barramundis creating history at the international level.
“This journey to Sunday’s T20 World Cup debut has been long, from the time CPNG became a member of the International Cricket Council in 1973,” he said.
“We acknowledge the part all previous players, administrators and sponsors have played in achieving this goal.
“Our game has grown through the dedication of these past servants of CPNG with our current Barramundis having the opportunity to represent everyone on Sunday.”
By ROBINSON LEKA