Papua New Guinea leap of faith lands T20 World Cup debut

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

Faith has played an important role in the development of cricket in Papua New Guinea and will be honored on October 17th when the “Barramundis” make their Twenty20 World Cup debut against Oman at Al Amerat.

The majority of the crew taking the sphere are from a single village on the south coast of Papua near the capital, Port Moresby.

Hanuabada, which implies “big village”, was considered the religious residence of cricket in the former British protectorate, as it was first performed there in the early 1900s.

“The game was introduced to the villagers by the missionaries. People fell in love with the sport and adopted it because of the Christian influence, ”world referee Lakani Oala told Reuters.

“Cricket brought neighboring villages together by playing regularly with each other, which created harmony, peace and forged a strong friendship,” said eighth-generation Hanuabadan, 62.

“All cricket matches have been opened and ended with prayers [and our] national cricket teams still practice it today.

The growth of the sport has been a problem in Papua New Guinea.

The crew play few matches, a problem exacerbated by the pandemic, and Papua New Guinea’s location and status as a dangerous vacation spot means it is difficult to attract touring teams, 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,” Papua New Guinea Cricket President Helen Macindoe told Reuters.

“We hope that with the participation of the ‘Barras’ in the World Cup there will be a little more visibility.”

With the world stage at the center of Papua New Guinea’s concerns for the weeks to come, the long-term goal is to continue to advance the sport beyond Hanuabada and neighboring coastal areas.

“A few years ago we were successful in getting funding through Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket and ICC. [International Cricket Council], and we’re building 48 more counters across the country, ”Macindoe said.

PNG are grouped together with Oman, Scotland and Bangladesh in the first round and might want to finish in the top two if they are to secure a place alongside the top ranked nations in the ‘Super 12’ stadium.

The T20 World Cup, which took place from October 17 to November 14, was moved to Oman and the United Arab Emirates from genuine host India due to COVID-19 issues.

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