25 Jul 2020

PNG cricketers take World Cup postponement in their stride

10:36 am on 25 July 2020

Papua New Guinea's top cricketers are already turning their focus to a possible World Cup debut in India.

This year's Men's T20 World Cup has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The PNG Barramundis had been set to make their senior World Cup debut in Australia but coach Joe Dawes said the team has taken the news in their stride.

"It's been probably one of the worst kept secrets for quite a while now. Although disappointing it's totally understandable in the state of the world at the moment."

"For us to play in November, we would love to have represented at that World Cup but our preparation would have been really poor so getting that extra time now will really allow us to make sure we get some cricket in next year, if Covid plays the game at some point, and we'll look forward to getting stuck into it."

The PNG Barramundis celebrate a wicket.

The PNG Barramundis celebrate a wicket. Photo: Twitter/T20 World Cup

Australia and India remain as hosts of the next two T20 World Cups but a decision on who will stage the event in 2021 and 2022 is still to be determined.

The Barramundis were looking forward to playing in Australia, where they are regular visitors, but Joe Dawes said if next year's tournament remains in India it could have some major benefits.

"The Indian World Cup was going from a 12 to a 16 team competition which is exciting and there's a lot of ifs, buts and maybes to go into it but if that is the case then we would go sort of into the main pool and get to play against all of the big boys in what I assume would be a two pool competition, so that's really exciting."

PNG coach Joe Dawes.

PNG coach Joe Dawes. Photo: Screenshot/ICC

The Barramundis last competitive hit-out was during last year's World Cup qualifiers in Dubai with tri-series in Port Moresby and Namibia postponed because of the global pandemic.

The PNG domestic season finally got underway yesterday with the opening round of the new 50 over competition but Joe Dawes said the future remains uncertain.

"I think our biggest challenge from that will come after the domestic season and then potentially sitting around for another six of seven months before we play any other meaningful cricket."

"We're trying to get players into Australia to play club cricket this summer but I think that's going to be hard work as well with everything that's going on with Covid around the world and particularly in Australia at the moment."