There was reason to be in good spirits despite Alei Nao's unfortunate injury that has ruled him out of action for a year.
Cricket PNG National Team Coach Joe Dawes is hopeful Nao recovers well from his injury and comes back into the fold soon.
“Very disappointing for Alei and he is a big part of our white ball cricket and I hope he bounces back well. Luckily, we are well covered in the bowling ranks. His injury though does give others an opportunity to shine here.”
Simon Atai is replacing Alei Nao for what could be his Hebou PNG Barramundis debut, if he gets a chance in the squad.
It will take some doing though by Atai to break into the batting line up which shone in Australia, where the Barramundis played a couple of practice games against local sides. The standout performances came from captain Assad Vala, who scored a whopping 134 in a high scoring encounter that saw the Hebou PNG Barramundis smash 258 Runs in a T20 Match!
Dawes was happy with the performances of his players in Australia.
“All our batsmen got a score at some stage during the practice games. CJ and Sese scored half centuries, Lega Siaka also came close to scoring one. It has been a good tour. The camp went well and we got what we wanted out of the games with all of our top order getting a good hit out.”
The team is now training hard in Fiji for the upcoming tournament, with centre wicket training the order of the day.
“Things are going well. Our first training session in Fiji this morning was in good spirits and of a high quality. The team can't wait to crack on with the qualifiers,” Dawes concluded.
Hebou PNG Barramundis kick things off with a double header on Saturday against Samoa before they play hosts Fiji in the second game of the day.
(Cricket PNG National Team Coach Joe Dawes)