Hawthorn v Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea will play the Hawthorn Cricket Club in a 30 over a side Charity Challenge match at Rathmines Road Reserve in East Hawthorn this Sunday 29 January.

PNG have shown enormous improvement in world cricket in recent times to now be ranked 19th in the world (9th in the ICC Associate/Affiliate World Rankings).

Their U/19s have qualified for their sixth World Cup after beating Ireland, Canada and Kenya and will take on the likes of India later this year in Queensland.

PNG will be taking part in a Global T20 Qualifying Event in Dubai in March against the best non-Test playing countries in the world in an attempt to qualify for the World T20 in Sri Lanka later this year.

With a number of national players in Melbourne on scholarships with Sub-District cricket clubs this summer, the match against Hawthorn will be great preparation for the side as they build towards Dubai with only a few of their best 11 unavailable.

One player who won’t be there is former English keeper Geraint Jones who was born in PNG and has recently made himself available for the Dubai tournament. He will join the players for a pre-tournament camp in Canberra in February.

PNG are also on the hunt for a new coach for the Dubai event after current coach Brad Hogg was forced to step down after his remarkable come back to the Australian team.

The match against Hawthorn also aims to attract donations of used cricket equipment to help the development of kids cricket in PNG. Spectators can bring their old gear on the day including: bats, pads, gloves, helmets, kit bags, plastic bats, tennis balls, stumps, nets, matting etc.

Alex Keath and Steven Reid from the Victorian Bushrangers as well as Australian Indoor World Cup winner Jarrod Armitage will be in attendance for the big day. A signed Bushrangers bat will also be raffled to those in attendance.

The action kicks off at 10:00 am with an Under 19s curtain raiser and the main event starting at 2pm. During the lunch break there will be a Milo In2 Cricket display open to kids from 5 to 10 years of age.

Entrance is free.

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