Cricket potential in PNG

Main Stories, Sports

The National – Thursday, December 2, 2010

ONE of the cricketing world’s true greats and a living legend, Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan, paid cricket minnows Papua New Guinea the ultimate compliment when he said the nation had potential to be a “power” in world cricket on a website report.
Cricket PNG’s national coaching director Andy Bichel was with the world record wicket-taker and helped run a “Supa Clinic” in support of World AIDS Day yesterday in Port Moresby.
In an interview earlier, Murali said he had been invited by Bichel to visit PNG and was here to help generate interest in the sport in the rugby league-mad nation.
“This is my second day here and I will be spending this time promoting the game with the International Cricket Council.
“There are a lot of children in PNG, very talented and interested in the game.
“The problem is there was not enough money or infrastructure for cricket here.
“They are a strong people full of energy and they will be one of the future powers of world cricket.
“This is why the ICC should strive towards developing the game in the country,” he said.
At the Sir John Guise Stadium, more than 100 students from the Coronation Primary School put on a demonstration of ball and cricket skills.
Cricket was the only sport represented at this prestigious occasion which was attended by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and other dignitaries.
Cricket PNG was delighted to be part of the event and the opportunity to support the National AIDS Council Secretariat.
Cricket PNG CEO Bill Leane said this was an important social message that cricket would help deliver.
“Through our BSP school cricket programme, we have put more than 49,000 children through our eight-week course since June this year.
“We have the capacity through this programme to reach thousands of children and assist in increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS and way to prevent the spread of this disease through choosing healthier lifestyles,” he said.
Later in the morning, an estimated 500 boys and girls from four schools made their way to the home of PNG cricket, Amini Park, to be part of the clinic.
International Cricket stars Bichel, Greg Campbell and Murali were involved in the clinic where the students were put through their paces learning about the skills of cricket.