Jason Gillespie Bats for Papua New Guinea’s Inclusion in Australia’s Domestic One-Day Tournament
Throwing his support behind Papua New Guinea, interim coach and Australia bowling legend Jason Gillespie has urged Cricket Australia (CA) to include the team in future editions of Australia’s domestic men’s 50-over competition.
Claiming that Papua New Guinea’s game is growing and developing, Gillespie insisted that it is the responsibility of the Australian cricket board to help and groom the team.
“PNG Cricket is unique in that it is 100 per cent indigenous, which is pretty special,” Gillespie told cricket.com.au on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, where PNG IS preparing for a series against Scotland with matches against Tasmania, Victoria and a Cricket Australia Indigenous XI.
“The game there is growing and developing, and with Australia being so close – we’re only a few kilometres apart at our nearest points, so they’re our closest cricket neighbours – 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. 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,” he added.
Citing the example of Bangladesh, who recently registered their first Test win over Australia, the former bowler further said that giving the opportunity to the newcomers can do wonders.
“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, Papua New Guinea competed in South Australian Cricket Association’s West End Redbacks League and given that Cricket Australia has experimented with the domestic 50-over tournament in the past, most recently introducing a ‘CA XI’ team which was formed by youngsters who missed selection in their respective state squads. The board can seriously consider including Papua New Guinea in its tournament.
If that happens, then it wouldn’t be the first time Australia’s domestic competition has included an international side. From 1969 to 1974-75, Australia had allowed New Zealand to play in the domestic competition for six seasons.
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