Cricket stars coming to PNG

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PAPUA New Guinea cricket will play host to a contingent of Australian cricket legends over the weekend.
The seven stars include big-hitting Andrew Symonds, the man considered the best ever one-day batsman, Michael Bevan, PNG Barramundis head coach and former test fast bowler Andy Bichel, former test spinner Greg Matthews, fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz, former test batsman Greg Blewett and Queensland stalwart Jimmy Maher.
The group arrive tomorrow to take part in the Pacific MMI   and Motor Vehicle Insurance Ltd “Don’t drink and drive” Twenty20 bash.
The last time an array of the world’s best cricketing talent visited PNG was 34 years ago in 1975 when the invincible West Indies came to the country to play an exhibition match against a national side.
That West Indian side included greats Vivian Richards, Clive Lloyd and Andy Roberts to name but three.
PNG will once again witness some of the best cricketers of the last 15 years play live at Amini Park this weekend. The event is geared towards promoting cricket in the PNG while spreading the message against drink driving.
The seven stars, except Matthews who will call the games, will take their places in six franchised teams which have been chosen for the event.
Sixty-six players from around PNG will get a chance to play along side the legends in a once in a life time opportunity.
Players, both senior and junior from Port Moresby, Central, West New Britain, Morobe and Milne Bay will combine for an exciting two days of cricket in Port Moresby.
The matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday with the final to involve all six Australian cricket legends and will be televised live begining 2pm on EMTV.
Cricket PNG chairman Mick Nades thanked all sponsors of the Legend’s bash as well as Cricket PNG genereal manager Bill Leane for playing an integral part in bringing the stars to Port Moresby.
  “Our team and event partners: Bank South Pacific, Ela Motors, UMW, bemobile, Air Niugini, Hebou Constructions, Lamana, Airways, Bishop Brothers and of course the Brian Bell group are the core of support that continually give support to cricket’s amazing growth and success on the international stage” Nades said.
“I want to thank our national selectors who have worked incredibly hard to look at our national talent on display during cricket’s successful PNG games participation and then created the opportunity for many of the spots in the Legends Teams to be filled from players who originate outside of Port Moresby”.
“There is now a massive opportunity for many new players to move into the Cricket PNG national team to participate in a three match international series against our Pacific neighbours Fiji, to be played here in February 2010” Nades added.
The teams for the “Don’t drink and drive” Legend’s  T20 Bash are: Brian Bell Bulldogs, bemobile Orange men, UMW Thunder, Air Niugini Jets, Hebou Hammers and PMMI Marlins.