CPNG names Lewas squad


CRICKET Papua New Guinea yesterday named the final 15-man Lewas squad as the national women’s team resumed preparations for the end-of-year World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.
They are Kaia Arua, Pauke Siaka, Tanya Ruma, Brenda Tau, Sibona Jimmy, Vicky Ara’a, Mairi Tom, Isabel Toua, Kevau Frank, Naoani Vare, Hollan Doriga, Melani Ani, Henao Thomas, Veru Frank and Ravini Oa while Erani Pokana is a non-travelling reserve.
The team will be playing the West Indies, the Netherlands, Ireland and Sri Lanka in the group phase of the qualifiers, seeking to qualify for next year’s World Cup in New Zealand.
New head coach Kath Hempenstall said she was excited about the mix of youth and experience in the team.
“We feel this will be a strong team and we can’t wait to get to Zimbabwe and to get into playing international cricket again,” she said.
“The Kumul Petroleum PNG Lewas haven’t played internationally for two years, and we can’t wait to test ourselves against tough competition.”
Meanwhile, the Lewas resumed training at Amini Park in Port Moresby with the squad preparing in groups.
Cricket PNG Coronavirus (Covid-19) manager Margaret Sibona told The National that the team training schedules were re-worked with members of the squad broken up into groups of seven to follow strict new guidelines.
She said the revised schedules were in compliance with the directives from the National Control Centre which granted cricket permission to train.
“So upon the approval granted, we’ve gone over their training programmes and we’ve come up with rescheduled training sessions for the team,” Sibona said.
“The team are not in camp, but they are reporting to training under strict Covid-19 protocols.
“They’ve broken into two groups with up to seven or eight persons per bunch that will be going through regular training until they leave.
“With the qualifiers coming up, the women will in the nets with their coaches going through their batting and bowling training.
“They will also be going through strength and conditioning training at Amini Park where they are expected to be doing their gym sessions and working on their fitness.”
She said Nov 6 was the tentative date for the Lewas to leave the country with the team expected to undergo quarantine five to six days before departure.
The qualifiers will be held from next month to December.
The tournament will be the final part of qualification with PNG among five countries competing for spots.