Siales set for inaugural Under-19 World Cup qualifiers


THE national women’s Under-19 cricket squad are gearing up for their East Asia-Pacific World Cup qualifying opener against hosts Indonesia at the Udayana Cricket Ground in Bali on Sunday.
Headed by coach Kath Hempenstall, the Papua New Guinea Siales ended a week-long tour of Darwin, Australia, on a high note after competing against a Northern Territory-combined team.
The Siales will play a three-day Twenty-20 (T20) series against Indonesia to earn one of the remaining four spots for next year’s U19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.
“We are hopeful to get a couple of wins because whoever gets two wins from the three-day T20 series will qualify for the World Cup,” Hempenstall told The National.
Cricket PNG chief executive Greg Campbell said they were upbeat about the Siales’ campaign in Bali.
“We hope for our team to qualify as it will be our first national U19 women’s team to participate in the World Cup,” he said.
Left-hand batsman Melanie Ani has been appointed as captain with Hane Lohia her assistant.
“The youngsters are looking forward to this tour because it will be the first time for our U19 team to participate in what will be a thrilling event for them,” the sport’s governing body said.
“We also acknowledge the representatives from the outside centres especially Shanell Ambo (Northern) and Duna Alex (Milne Bay).”
Meanwhile, Hempenstall said she would be excited to see the team qualify. We’re really enthusiastic to play the first qualifiers for the women which is really exciting,” she said.
“I’m really excited for women’s cricket and PNG. I’m pleased we’ve put together a really competitive team and I look forward to seeing what they can do,” Hempenstall said ahead of their qualifiers.
Fixtures – Sunday, July 3 – Tuesday July 5, PNG v Indonesia.