PNG set for next challenge in Namibia


THE Papua New Guinea Barramundis are set to leave for Namibia on April 6 for the World Cup (50-over) qualifiers (April 20-27) after winning the international Cricket Council East Asia Pacific T20 Regional finals over the weekend.
The Barrammundis won all their four games against the Philippines and Vanuatu at Amini Park with batsman Tony Ura scoring over 240 runs including a century in three days of cricket.
But the focus for coach Joe Dawes’ men will be the tournament in Namibia where PNG will vie for a spot in the next limited overs World Cup in 2023.
Cricket PNG general manager Lee McDowell said while they were pleased with the team’s effort over the weekend, the Barramundis would need to regroup for their next challenge where they would be up against teams from the World Cricket League (WCL) including hosts Namibia, Canada, Oman, USA and Hong Kong.
“The Barras did well in the EAP Regional T20 finals but now they’ve got to focus on the World Cup qualifiers in Namibia next month,” McDowell said.
“We get a chance to improve our ranking, qualify for a World Cup and get back our One Day status while the funding increase that comes from doing well also helps.”
The tournament is part of the 2017-19 cycle of the WCL which determines the qualification for the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
PNG and Hong Kong finished in the bottom two places in the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier, therefore relegating them to the Division Two tournament and losing their One Day International (ODI) status in the process.
Following the tournament, the WCL will be replaced by the Cricket World Cup League and the Cricket World Cup Challenge League.
The top four teams will join Scotland, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates in the 2019–21 ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 and gain ODI status.