PAPUA New Guinea will again dominate the ICC East Asia Pacific team to contest the Australian Country Cricket Championships (ACCC) in January, with half the team coming from PNG.
General manager of Cricket PNG, Bill Leane, said yesterday that despite the absence of key players like Kila Pala (injured), Arua Dikana (unavailable due to the U19 World Cup) and the recent retirements of Ipi Morea, John Ovia, Peter Moide and Jamie Brazier, all of whom have been regular members of past ICC EAP teams, it was exciting to see the depth of our local talent being recognised.
Leane added that it was also exciting to see Chris Amini, who led our national team to success in both the ICC East Asia Pacific Twenty20 championship and the ICC EAP World Cricket League division’s one-day championship, recognised when he was awarded the ICC EAP vice- captain’s role. National coach and Australian test legend Andy Bichel said: “Cricket PNG players had a long history of success, being included in these teams and this year under highly credentialed Australian coach Charlie Bourke, we expect EAP to achieve a win in the T20 part of the ACCC tournament and a top three finish in the main series with expectations of our PNG players displaying some dominant performances.”
The matches will be played in Albury, New South Wales from Jan 3-14 next year.
The ICC East Asia Pacific team includes PNG’s Chris Amini (v/c), Pipi Raho, Loa Nou, Vani Vagi Morea, Willie Gavera, Assad Vala and Jeremiah Nigani, Vanuatu’s Andrew Mansale (captain), Patrick Matautava and Trevor Langa, Fiji’s Joe Rika, Sakaria Lomani and Josaia Baba and Japan’s Masaomi Kobayashi.
The participating teams include Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, East Asia Pacific, Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
PNG will be taking on Queensland in their opening match on the first day.