Pacific stars to shine at tourney

Normal, Sports

The National, Friday July 26th, 2013

 A HOST of talented cricketers from the East Asia-Pacific region will descend on Brisbane next month to compete in an exciting new Twenty20 tournament.

The Asia Pacific Rising Stars Trophy will feature the PNG Hebou Barramundis and an East Asia-Pacific representative side, comprised of players from Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Japan and PNG. 

The tournament will also feature an Australian Indigenous Development team and the Australian Combined Services team. 

The Asia Pacific Rising Stars Trophy will be held in Brisbane from Aug 12-17 at the Redlands Cricket Club.

“This tournament provides further opportunities for talented cricketers from the EAP region to play on first class facilities against quality opposition,” International Cricket Council EAP regional development manager Kieran McMillan said.

“PNG has a busy six months ahead with two global qualifying events and participation in the inaugural South Australian Cricket Association’s Premier League and so this series is ideal preparation.

“It’s also an excellent platform from which all of these athletes can showcase their ability, particularly as we work to open pathways to professional cricket in Australia.”

The tournament highlights the rapid growth in the popularity of cricket in Australia’s neighbouring countries. 

It will also provide these cricketers with the opportunity to demonstrate the genuine talent that is emerging within the EAP region. 

Lega Siaka, Riley Hekure (both from PNG) and Jelany Chilia (Vanuatu), who will represent the EAP XI, were recently selected for 12 month Talent Accelerator Scholarships. 

These scholarships have been awarded in the hope of fast-tracking the development of these players to play first class cricket in near the future.

The scholarships will provide the players with access to some of the best coaches and facilities in Australia in addition to opportunities in Cricket Australia and state association talent development structures.

The development of talent within the East Asia-Pacific region has not gone unnoticed in Australian cricket circles. 

The Talent Accelerator Scholarships, in addition to PNG’s involvement in the upcoming SACA Premier League, highlights the recognition of the region’s potential.