PNG XI curtain-raiser to Prime Minister’s XI’s clash with Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval, Canberra, 15 February 2017

The ACT has named a 12-man squad to take on a PNG XI as curtain-raiser to the Prime Minister’s XI’s clash with Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval on February 15.

Cricket ACT launched its PNG scholarship program in November 2016.

Eastlake fast bowler Nosaina Pokana is one of six PNG imports playing in Cricket ACT’s first grade competition and says the program has been life-changing for those involved.

“[The program is] changing people, especially the ones who are always keeping to themselves,” Pokana said. 

“Some of the boys who don’t speak English back home now are opening up and speaking English, getting to open up to their teammates and stuff, so pretty much great to see the lads opening up and adapting to the surroundings.”

The PM’s XI will be played as a Twenty20 under lights for the first time, opening the door for a one-off fixture between the ACT and PNG’s national side.

Cricket ACT general manager of high performance Aiden Blizzard says the program has gone “a lot better” than anticipated and wants to see more fixtures of this nature at Manuka Oval.


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