Lewas squad named

The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

Cricket PNG announced their 14-woman Lewas squad for the International Cricket Council (ICC) East Asia Pacific (EAP) regional qualifier 2016 this month in Apia, Samoa.
The squad will go head to head against Japan and host country Samoa with the team that finishes top of the table progressing to the Global Qualifiers for the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.
Among the selected squad this year are first time outer-region recruits Daniella Ila (Morobe), Hina Leubena (Alotau) and Geathie Kila Pat (Northern).
The newly recruited Lewas are the first to be selected from regions outside of the Port Moresby Cricket Association with coach Rodney Maha remarking at the selection: “It’s great to have talent from outer regions making up part of the national squad … the girls have transitioned well and hopefully this is the first step to recruiting and exposing more cricket talent from outer regions.”
When asked how the new Lewas felt regarding their selection to the national squad, an elated Ila, 21 said, “I’m very excited and blessed to represent my country in an ICC-sanctioned match.  I never thought it would be such a dream come true and I am thankful to my coach, Cricket PNG, my cricket association in Lae and especially my parents and brother whom I hope to make proud.”
Leubena (22) added that it was a surprise to the respective intakes to make the national squad and looked forward to the challenge ahead.
“It has been a challenging and rewarding transition so far from my cricket association in Ahioma, Miline Bay to Cricket PNG here in Port Moresby but I am excited to be travelling over to Samoa to represent my country and continue to grow in cricket from this experience,” said Leubena.
The youngest outer region recruit Kila Pat (18) from Popondetta Cricket Association commented on the training so far, “It’s different from our outer region trainings, it’s more intense and our fitness level has certainly improved since beginning training here in Port Moresby … we’ve also learnt a lot in terms of skills and learning more about the sport we love.”
It will be the first time for the new Lewa recruits to represent PNG and to travel out of the country.  The girls thanked CPL Group of Companies and its marketing manager Mandy Copeland, Cricket PNG and its staff, their respective associations, coach Maha and their families and friends for their support in helping achieve their dream.
The CPL PNG Lewas will depart for Samoa on July 12 with the tournament taking place on July 15 July.