PNG cricketers given heroes’ welcome after earning T20 WC qualification
With such a great surprise, Papua New Guinea has made them qualified for the next year’s ICC T20 World Cup in the recently concluded ICC World T20 Qualifier in United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Papua New Guinea cricket team, nicknamed the Barramundis, got the chance to play in the World Cup after becoming the champion in their group in the qualifier.
This had been the Papua New Guinea team’s first ever entrance in an ICC tournament. Though they had the experience of playing in the Youth World Cup, but the national team never had a chance to play in any ICC-based tournament. Finally, Papua New Guinea ended the responsibility of fulfilling that unfulfilled dream in the UAE few days ago.
Even PNG reached the final of the qualifier. In the final, they tried to give their best throughout the match, but failed to make much of an advantage in the final against the Netherlands. The population of Papua New Guinea, geographically adjacent to Australia, is close to one crore. Although cricket is not the most popular sport in the country, the achievements of cricketers across the country have responded. Each of their media had come up with the story of Papua New Guinea’s chance at the World Cup.
On Monday afternoon, the Papua New Guinea cricket team arrived in Papua New Guinea from the United Arab Emirates. Hundreds of fans were present at the Jackson Airport to welcome the team. With the flowers and ceremony with songs and dances, the people of Papua New Guinea welcomed the players of the team at the airport. A party was also organized for them at Amini Park. The achievements of the cricketers had been widely publicized in the local media.
Papua New Guinea will compete in the Group A in the first round of the T20 World Cup. All of their games will be held at Kardinia Park Stadium in Geelong, Australia. In this group, they will have to fight against teams like Sri Lanka, Ireland and Oman. The two teams will have the opportunity to go to the next round of the World Cup.