After being appointed as the interim coach of Papua New Guinea, former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie has called for the inclusion of PNG in Australia’s domestic ODI tournament.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Gillespie said, “PNG Cricket is unique in that it is 100 per cent indigenous, which is pretty special. The game there is growing and developing, and with Australia being so close – we’re only a few kilometers apart at our nearest points, so they’re our closest cricket neighbors – it would be great if Cricket Australia can do as much as they can for PNG Cricket. I think it’s very important.”
“It would be a wonderful initiative by Cricket Australia to include PNG in the domestic one-day comp,” he said. “That would be absolutely brilliant.”
It’d be tough cricket, and there’d be a lot of learning, but the only way they’re going to develop is by playing consistently good levels of cricket against quality opposition.
You see when new Test nations come in, they take a while to find their feet, and we’re going to see that in the next few years with Afghanistan and Ireland. “But look at Bangladesh now – you give opportunity, and things happen.”
Meanwhile, Executive General Manager of Team Performance, Pat Howard, said that Cricket Australia will look at ways of working with nations like PNG.
“We are very committed to assisting nations in the pacific to help them develop talent and to continue their growth on the international stage,” Howard told cricket.com.au.