Bengaluru, October 28: Papua New Guinea secured their place in the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in 2020 with a 45-run win over Kenya in Dubai. Netherlands could not beat Scotland in 12.3 overs of their chase, and the result it gave PNG an automatic place in the premier event.
Here MyKhel takes a look at Papua New Guinea and their tryst with cricket and sports in general.
1. Coach Dawes and team overwhelmed
Joe Dawes is no stranger to Indian cricket fans. The Australian was India's bowling coach from 2012 to 2014 and working with then coach Duncan Fletcher. But he along with fielding coach Trevor Penny lost the place after India lost the away series against England 1-3 in 2014. But the former Queensland fast bowler was doing quiet work with PNG. Dawes was understandably overawed.
"I am feeling emotional. It has been a pretty big two years for the team and for them to achieve this is special," Dawes told the ICC website. "We are going to enjoy the moment. For them to achieve this is a great feat for us and the nation," he added.
2. The first sight of cricket in PNG
The cricket is not a new game in Papua New Guinea. It was introduced in the island nation back in early 1900s when British Missionaries reached the shores. But they struggled to make an impression in world arena for a variety of reasons like lack of infrastructure. But they were accorded ODI status in 2014 by the ICC and were included in the Emerging Nations bracket to give a thrust to the sport. However, the ODI status was revoked in 2018. But under Dawes they made some good progress in the last couple of years as a cricket nation. And they have also regained the ODI status this year.
3. Brief history of PNG
The newest cricketing nation is located in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean and the national capital is Port Moresby. The country, which is a part of Commonwealth and geographically close to Indonesia and Australia, has a population of just over 80 lakh and house 851 languages, one of the highest in the world. James Marape is the Prime Minister of this nation.
4. Sporting history of PNG
Rugby is the most followed sports in this island nation. Many PNG rugby players appear in Australian leagues and are quite well known. Australian Rules Football, Basketball and Boxing too are very popular here. Cricket is being followed closely in this country and the T20 World Cup berth could be a blessing for the sport as far as exposure is concerned. Their men's cricket team is nicknamed as Barramundis after the popular fish species in the region.