PNG cricketers in for the long haul

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Update:

The Papua New Guinea cricketers are hoping to last the distance during a month-long stint in the United Arab Emirates.

The Barramundis depart Port Moresby today and will play three warm-up matches in Dubai against English county teams, before taking on the UAE in three one day internationals, a four-day Inter-Continental Cup clash and three Twenty20 Internationals.

The first two ODIs will also form part of the World Cricket League Championship.

Head coach Dipak Patel said the extended trip will be a new experience for most of the players.

“It’s a month long tour, when we take everything into account with our training and so-forth,” he said.

“It’s something that the Barramundis in the past haven’t handled the long tours very well so we’ve sort of looked at ways of how we can better ourselves on and off the field.

“It’s a good test for us: something that may happen more in the future where we’re going to be away for long periods of time, and this is part of the development, being able to handle situations on and off the field.”

Dipak Patel said the return of Jack Vare-Kevere and Norman Vanua meant PNG have been able to select a full-strength squad.

“Having Jack back in the fold as a senior player – obviously he’s been captain but we’ve sort of stuck with Assad [Vala] because we just want to make sure Jack was fully fit before we make decisions on that, on the captaincy side,” said Patel.

“But we’re confident that we’ve picked the best 14 players that are available to us…there’s obviously a few people who are disappointed but that’s the nature of when it comes to selecting squads.

“You want to try and make sure that you pick the best 14 and there’s always going to be people who miss out and that’s pretty healthy from our perspective.”

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