Sport: PNG cricketers lose coveted ODI status

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The Papua New Guinea cricket team has lost their One Day International status after being beaten by Nepal at the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

The winner of the match was guaranteed ODI status when the Netherlands defeated Hong Kong in the other ranking playoff.

The Netherlands already have ODI status.

The day started badly for PNG with Nepal winning the toss and sending the Barramundis into bat.

They crumbled to be all out for 114 in the 28th over with no batsman reaching 20.

Nepal’s Dipendra Singh Airee had a man of the match performance, claiming 4 for 14 with the ball and then scoring 50 off 58 deliveries to lead his team to a six wicket victory.

The Nepal captain Paras Khadka thanked his team’s supporters and said they had big aims for the future now they had obtained ODI status for the first time.

“We are glad to know that we have had a lot of fan following over the years and even this tournament,” Khadka said.

“We have come to know that we have followings even more than some of the test playing countries so it’s great.

“Keep supporting us, keep motivating us and as players we are pushing ourselves to do well and hopefully try and bring in the best results for our country,” he said.

PNG coach Joe Dawes said he was surprised by his team’s poor performance.

“Our preparation was really good, we had a couple of days off and got into some good training sessions and the feeling around the group was really good.

“We prepared as best we can and then we came out and delivered probably our worst performance of the tournament,” he said.

“It was pretty insipid batting and with the ball there it wasn’t much better.”

Dawes said there was a lot of disappointment within the team.

“…but [the team] probably deserves to be disappointed because it was rubbish.”

The former Queensland fast-bowler said it’s going to be tough for his team to “get back up” but as professional cricketers they needed to.

Dawes said once the team returned to PNG and the dust settled, the focus would be on regaining their ODI status.

“We will be all about now getting our status back and looking at qualifying for world cups in four years time and the Twenty-20 and that means we will have to look at our playing group and those that are going to be around in four years time ,or potentially be around, we will work with and those that aren’t or aren’t doing their jobs will go.”

PNG will now play the loser of Hong Kong in Saturday’s ninth-place play off.

PNG’s cricketers disappointed against Nepal Photo: PNG Cricket