Papua New Guinea’s leap of faith lands T20 World Cup debut

Reuters
October 15, 2021

Papua New Guinea are grouped with Oman, Scotland and Bangladesh within the opening spherical

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A file photo of players from the Papua New Guinea team. Photo: Cricket PNG/ Facebook

Faith has performed an necessary position within the growth of cricket in Papua New Guinea and on October 17 will probably be repaid when the ‘Barramundis’ make their Twenty20 World Cup debut in opposition to Oman in Al Amerat.

The majority of the crew taking the sphere hail from a single village situated on the southern Papuan coast close to the capital, Port Moresby.

Hanuabada, which implies “big village”, has been thought of cricket’s religious residence within the former British protectorate because it was first performed there within the early 1900s.

“The game was introduced to the villagers by the missionaries. The people fell in love with the sport and embraced it because of the Christian influence,” worldwide umpire Lakani Oala instructed Reuters.

“Cricket would bring neighbouring villages together by playing amongst each other regularly, which created harmony, peace and forged strong friendship,” the 62-year-old eighth-generation Hanuabadan mentioned.

“All cricket matches were opened and ended with prayers [and our] national cricket teams still practise this today.”

Growing the sport has been a problem in Papua New Guinea.

The crew play few fixtures, an issue exacerbated by the pandemic, and Papua New Guinea’s location and status as a harmful journey vacation spot means it’s tough to draw touring sides regardless of the proximity to Australia and New Zealand.

“Unfortunately where we are, geography is not on our side and we lack international exposure and games,” Cricket Papua New Guinea chairperson Helen Macindoe instructed Reuters.

“We’re hoping with the ‘Barras’ making it to the World Cup, there’ll be a little bit more exposure.”

While the world stage is Papua New Guinea’s focus for the subsequent few weeks, the long-term goal is to proceed rising the sport past Hanuabada and the neighbouring coastal areas.

“A couple of years ago we managed to get some funding through Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket and the ICC [International Cricket Council], and we’re building 48 more wickets around the country,” Macindoe mentioned.

PNG are grouped with Oman, Scotland and Bangladesh within the opening spherical and might want to end within the high two if they’re to safe a spot alongside the top-ranked nations within the “Super 12” stage.

The T20 World Cup, operating from October 17 to November 14, was shifted to Oman and the United Arab Emirates from authentic hosts India on account of COVID-19 issues.


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