6 Mar 2012

Sport: PNG cricketers take value from camp despite weather troubles

11:54 am on 6 March 2012

Despite the best efforts of the weather gods, Papua New Guinea cricket coach Peter Anderson says plenty was gained from their week-long camp in Canberra.

The team is preparing for this months ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers in Dubai, which begin next week.

Heavy rain cancelled practice games that had been arranged in the Australian capital, forcing the players indoors.

That means they'll go into the 16-team tournament short on game time but Peter Anderson says they will just have to adapt.

"ICC nominate an outside nets and indoor nets, two practices before the competition starts, and everyone's on the same ruling. Unfortunately we won't have any practice matches but the guys have been playing in Melbourne, the majority of the squad. Guys also had a hit, those who got back on Sunday for their club teams and fingers crossed we can get a centre-wicket practice going and just finalise our practice session. The guys have worked very very hard indoors: Plenty of catches and our goal is we're going to be the best fielding team in Dubai and our bowling is excellent."

The camp also gave the former England wicket-keeper Geraint Jones a chance to meet his new teammates.

The 35 year old's switch of allegiance was rubber-stamped in January and coach Peter Anderson says he's fitted in seamlessly.

I think he's been pleasantly surprised by the standard of the cricket. He's great but we've also told the guys Geraint is not just a one-man-team - it's very important that he's human too so we can't put too much pressure on him. He's brought a lot of experience to the team - Jonesy's been absolutely great - he's just going to cap off that middle order there that we can build around. It's so important that all the guys play well - I just think everything's really looking really excellent.