PNG hits a six with SACA
22 Mar 2013 - SACA
SACA director of cricket Jamie Cox has just returned from Papua New Guinea, where he has been working with Cricket PNG and the national cricket team, the Hebou Barramundis on plans for this summer’s Premier League.
The Barramundis will be entering a team in the SACA’s new competition, due to get underway in September. Mr Cox met with General Manager of Cricket PNG Greg Campbell, former Barramundi’s captain and now assistant coach Rarura Dikana, as well as several players.
He said the team was excited about the opportunity of playing in South Australia, and could see major benefits from exposure to a higher level of competition. He met with players in the village of in Hanuabada, outside Port Moresby, where most of the Barramundi players began playing cricket as children.
“It is a cricket-mad country, and the players are always looking for great exposure and experience to grow their skills, so by having the Barramundis in the Premier League is a win-win for all of us,” Mr Cox said.
“It’s raw and it’s natural. They are a talented bunch who need more exposure. There is a keen-ness and enthusiasm and toughness in their cricket, so that is very encouraging, and it is great to see a very good skill level across this group.
“They have a team that is going to surprise a few blokes who are going to be playing against them. It’s one of the great things about this competition – we now have an international team that our guys can play against, learn with and hopefully improve from.”
Mr Dikana said most the players started out “playing cricket on the street” before progressing into the Port Moresby Cricket Association. The Barramundis have travelled the world for various ICC competitions, in countries such as Canada, Ireland, Australia and Sri Lanka.
“The SACA opportunity is a big thing for Cricket PNG. It will give the players the opportunity to shine, showcase their talent and hopefully one of our very own will be running around in the state colours hopefully with South Australia or one of the other state teams,” he said.
“In the Australian club competition our boys have been going down on scholarships but have been playing in lower tier competitions and I believe the SACA Premier League opportunity will be a big one and will sort of change the boys mentality and they will approach the game more professionally. The game will improve a lot in the Premier League competition and it will make sure that the players are playing at a very high standard and they will be performing at a very high standard especially with the ICC tournaments.”