Team has been in competing in South Australian Premier League in build-up to ICC WT20Q UAE 2013
The side has been based in Australia recently playing in the South Australian Premier League, and Amini believes that the experience has allowed PNG to work on all aspects of its game: “This is certainly the best preparation we have ever had leading up to a tournament. To be involved as a national team in the South Australian Premier League and to use this as a five week camp for the players has been really good.
“It has given us lots of time to work on our fitness as well as the tactical side of things that is so important to T20 cricket.”
The 29-year-old from Port Moresby says that his side has been focusing on improving its consistency from the 2012 Qualifier, where it finished in eighth place.
“Our focus has been on being more consistent. We lost some games at the last event through lack of consistent performance and losing a bit of focus. We have done a lot of opposition analysis and had a good look at ourselves.
“We know we are quite good but we have to keep looking for ways to improve. Last time we dropped a number of catches that we normally wouldn’t drop so that will be a focus,” he said.
The only side from the East Asia-Pacific region in the global qualifier, the team qualified by virtue of being undefeated at the ICC EAP T20 Championship.
Amini says that PNG has a number of goals for the tournament: “Our first goal is to qualify for the group stage. To finish top 6 in the event we have to beat at least one or two of the top regarded teams in our group like Scotland, Kenya, Netherlands or Afghanistan. We want to win two out of those four games then also and beat all of the teams considered at our level or below.”
Many followers of the game may notice the return of former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones to the PNG side, but Amini was keen to pinpoint some lesser known names for cricket supporters to keep an eye out for.
The right-handed batsman said: “Obviously Assad Vala is the main man for us. He has taken his game to another level since the last event in Dubai. The last time in Dubai he had a bit of an average tournament by his own standards, but he has just gone through the roof since then. He is going to be at the top of the order and very important for us.
“In terms of bowlers, Willie Gavera has really improved. He has been working really hard. He has always been our quickest bowler but now he is bowling a lot smarter and the ball is in his court to make an impact.”
PNG will begin its campaign on 15 November against Kenya at Abu Dhabi Oval 2.
Papua New Guinea – Chris Amini (captain), Charles Amini, Mahuru Dai, Willie Gavera, Andrew Hicks, Geraint Jones, Chris Kent, Van Vagi Morea, Kila Pala, Pipi Raho, John Reva, Assad Vala, Norman Vanua, Jack Vare , Tony Ura.