The National, Monday July 29th, 2013
THERE are some new faces in the PNG Barramundis 14-man team Cricket PNG announced last Friday for the upcoming Asia Pacific Rising Stars Trophy to be held in Brisbane from August 12-17.
Big hitting Kila Pala (pictured left) and Greg Baeau (pictured centre) are two middle-order batsmen who have not had many opportunities over the last three years.
Pala, who last played for the Hebou Barras in 2011 at an ICC World Cricket League Division 2 tournament in Dubai will relish his chance in Brisbane.
The 28-year-old is renowned for his aggressive batting and along with other like-minded players in ace Assad Vala, opener Tony Ura and all-rounder Mahuru Dai are expected to produce quick-fire scores on the Queensland decks.
Baeau, 30, on the other hand, has been a consistent performer on the local Port Moresby cricket scene as well as being a member of national squads to the Arafura and Pacific Games in recent years.
PNG-born Andrew Hicks, 25, a bowling all-rounder who has played in the Wollongong competition in NSW, will also represent PNG for the first time.
The other new face is 2012 U19 bowler Loa Sisia.
The T20 tournament is the first for the region and will see a range of youngsters on show during the week long tournament.
East-Asia Pacific will field a strong line-up which comprises players from Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Japan and three rising stars from PNG in Charles Amini Jr and the two “Talent Accelerator Scholarship” holders, Lega Siaka and Riley Hekure.
The other two teams include Australia Indigenous Development team and the Australian Combined Services team.
High Performance Manager, Rarua Dikana (pictured right) was confident with the team that was announced.
“There are a number of new faces in the squad who have been given the chance to make their mark in the international arena.
“They’ve been given the chance after some notable performances during the Hebou Shield tournament.
“It shows the depth we have in our squad,” Dikana said.
“This will be great preparation for the Barras leading into the SACA Premier League and the ICC World T20 qualifiers later in November this year.”
There will be two rounds of matches for all teams with the finals to be held on Aug 10.
Top two teams will battle it out for the inaugural Asia Pacific Rising Stars trophy.
All matches will be hosted by Redlands Cricket Club at Peter Burge and Fred Kratzman Ovals
The Barramundis head to Brisbane on Aug 11 and return on Aug 18.
Barramundis: Christopher Amini (c), Jack Vare (v/c), Assad Vala, Tony Ura, Vani Vagi Morea, Mahuru Dai, Andrew Hicks, Jason Kila, Pipi Raho, Kila Pala, Loa Sisia, Raymond Haoda Jr, Greg Baeau, John Boge Reva. Reserves: Willie Gavera, Sese Bau, Alfred Amini, Mahuta Kivung, Inoa Baeau, Paul Rawali.
Asia Pacific Rising Stars Trophy Fixtures: Aug 12 – (am) Aust Indig XI vs ACS & PNG vs EAP, (pm) PNG vs Aust Indig XI & EAP vs ACS; Aug 13 – Rest Day; Aug 14 – (am) EAP vs Aust Indig XI & PNG vs ACS, (pm) EAP vs ACS & PNG vs Aust Indig XI; Aug 15 – Rest Day; Aug 16 – (am) PNG vs ACS & EAP vs Aust Indig XI, (pm) PNG vs EAP & Aust Indig XI vs ACS; Aug 17 – (am) third place playoff, (pm) final.