CPNG confirms ‘incident’


MEMBERS of the Papua New Guinea under-19 cricket team went on an alleged shoplifting spree in Sano, Japan, that led to the suspension of 10 players and the team forfeiting their final match against the hosts.
As a result, Japan qualified for the International Cricket Council (ICC) U19 World Cup in South Africa next year.
Local police were involved but no charges were laid.
Cricket Papua New Guinea (CPNG) confirmed that there was an “incident” while the Garamuts were playing in the ICC East Asia-Pacific Regional Qualifier in Japan last week.
“Allegations of shoplifting were made, local police were involved, but no charges were laid,” CPNG chairman Helen McIndoe said in an email late yesterday.
“We confirm also that when the matter came to light, our management contacted the PNG Embassy as a precautionary measure.
“The embassy was very helpful but as it turned out, their services were not required.
“Nonetheless, during the course of these events, Cricket PNG took a decision to withdraw its team from the tournament and forfeited its final game.
“Cricket PNG is working with its players and their families to understand what occurred. Until we’ve completed that process, we’ll be making no further comment.”
However, according to the ABC’s Pacific Beat, the incident “centred on a shoplifting spree” in Sano.
National coach Joe Dawes, who was not with the side in Japan, told Pacific Beat that the 10 had let their side and country down.
“There’ll be an internal investigation. Then there’ll be sanctions and bans and what not, and it flows on from there until we get to the bottom of who’s involved, who are the ringleaders,” Dawes said.
Dawes said after some diplomatic negotiations, the players were allowed out of the country.
“Not only does that rob the four guys who didn’t do the wrong thing but also there’s funding attached with that. There’ll be fines from the ICC,” Dawes told Pacific Beat.
“There’s a lot of consequences coming out of this. Hopefully all our sponsors stick by us as well.”
“The feedback so far is everyone’s calling for a very strict penalty for these guys, and not a lot of sympathy.”
“Ninety-nine per cent of the people are all for strict punishments and discipline, which we will be doing.
“But we’ll also be doing our bit to try to see if we can educate these kids and bring them back into the fold at some stage.”


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