By MELTON PAIS
CRICKET Papua New Guinea’s senior women’s cricket team Lewas will be captained by Pauke Siaka, with Helen Buruka and Ravini Oa as her deputies.
The 14-member side will compete at the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier for the East Asia-Pacific (EAP) region in Apia, Samoa, next month.
The squad members have been training in Port Moresby for the last four months.
For the first time, the City Pharmacy-sponsored PNG Lewas squad will comprise of players from four provinces, with Hinamutawa Philip (Milne Bay), Geathie Kilapat (Oro) and Daniella Luwenica Saiwa Ila (Morobe) joining eleven players from the NCD. Cricket PNG’s high performance manager Rarua Dikana said the squad were fit and ready to perform at the qualifiers.
“The high performance department are impressed with the team selection,” Dikana said.
“The Lewas have been focused during training sessions for the past four months and we are satisfied with their progress.
“The Lewas are currently ranked 13th in the world and first in the EAP region; we are confident this team will maintain that and take us even further up in the rankings if they qualify at this tournament.”
CPNG’s women’s director Iammo Launa, who was on hand to announce the selection, was pleased with the selections.
“I congratulate the players for making it into the national squad.
“There are three new girls in the team and I thank our sponsor for its support in enabling women’s cricket to develop and reach new heights,” Launa said.
CPL project officer Oti Sarufa said her firm was proud to be associated with the sport.
“One of our corporate objectives is community initiatives, particularly with women, and so we are proud to be the sponsors for the women’s national cricket team,” Sarufa said.
The Lewas will take on Japan and hosts Samoa in 50-over matches, with the winner progressing to the global qualifier for next year’s Women’s Cricket World Cup in England.
By MELTON PAIS