PNG to test skills against Windies U18

Normal, Sports

PAPUA New Guinea development team will take on the touring West Indies under 18 side at the Box Hill Oval on Friday in a 40 over match in Melbourne.
The development team will be keen to test their skills against the West Indies who are in Australia as part of an overseas tour, playing against Australian teams in a number of States.
PNG coach and captain Rarua Dikana said the opportunities for his team to play against talented international sides were invaluable.
Rarua and a number of PNG players are in Australia on development scholarships funded through the Brian Bell Group of Companies.
These placements of up to six months provide playing and coaching opportunities and are integral in PNG’s overall game development strategy.
“Because we are spread around not only Melbourne but other States, the opportunity to come together and play as a team will be wonderful,” Rarua said.
“We are all looking forward to playing together again and the opportunity to face a side made up of the most talented young players in the West Indies promises to be a great contest. We have a good balance of batsmen and a strong bowling contingent, including a couple of talented quicks. Our 16-year-old wicker keeper Dogodo Bau has impressed many people and will be a player to watch in the future.
“Our Barramundis (PNG national men’s team) will be competing in Hong Kong in January in the World Cricket League Division 3 tournament. We hope to finish in the top two and progress through to Division 2 which will see us competing against countries like Scotland, Ireland, Kenya and other nations who have a strong cricket heritage.
“In February, our U19 national team will compete in the EAP World Cup Qualifier and we intend to progress through to the next round of the World Cup so we need a top two finish in this tournament also,” Rarua said
With some demanding cricket ahead of them, the PNG team will be purposeful in their preparation and focused on performing well on Friday, to take full advantage of every opportunity that comes their way.
Through the Brian Bell Future Stars scholarship programme, more than 14 young men (and one woman) have been placed with either a strong metropolitan Club in Melbourne or Brisbane with two players also selected in the ACT Comets squad for this season.