PNG set to play against three Australian states

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The Barramundis will head to the Sunshine Coast next month and take on three domestic sides.


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Lega Siaka has been one of PNG’s star players in recent times // Getty

The Barramundis will head to the Sunshine Coast next month and take on three domestic sides.

Papua New Guinea are set to gain some valuable high-level experience via three matches against Australian state teams in August and September.

In a major boost for the developing cricket nation, the PNG Barramundis will take on Tasmania (Aug 31), Western Australia (Sept 2) and Queensland (Sept 5) over the space of a week at the Maroochydore Cricket Ground on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The 50-over contests will serve as warm-ups for the Barramundis, who will then head to Darwin to take part in the South Australian Premier League Cup, between September 15 and October 9, as they have done for the past three years.

Queensland coach Phil Jaques welcomed the opportunity to not only aid the development of a fledgling cricket nation, but also provide his own squad with another source of off-season action.

“The more we can grow our region, and cricket in general, the better,” Jaques told cricket.com.au.

“As long as they’re competitive fixtures, you’re going to get takers, especially in the pre-season, for guys wanting to play some games.”

PNG are currently ranked fourth on the Associate ODI rankings table, and are sitting third behind the Netherlands and Hong Kong on the World Cricket League Championship ladder.

“They’ve got a talented bunch of guys from all reports, some really good cricketers, and any high-level cricket we can play in our pre-season, we’d much rather be playing games than training,” Jaques said.

“So to be able to play against an international side will be a good hit-out for us.”

For the Bulls, the match will be played as an additional part to a 16-day state camp, and a chance for Jaques to assess the depth of his talented young squad.

“We’ll be missing some Australia, Australia A and National Performance Squad guys, so there’s a really good opportunity there to blood a few young guys, play a few guys who are on the fringes and see where everyone is at.

“We’re playing a lot more trial games this off-season to give guys some exposure. It won’t necessarily mean more games for our starting team, but it’ll be a good mix of games across our whole squad to be able to get guys ready for the season.

“We’re also playing a couple of games against an Auckland touring side, we’re playing an Indigenous team prior to the state camp, a couple of extra games against South Australia, so we’ll be going through a good solid workout of games leading into the season.”

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