Siaka will become just the fifth overseas player to represent the PM’s XI for the annual one-day match next week
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Cricket Australia’s National Selection Panel announced the side today. The squad contains past and present Australian international representatives and a number of the country’s rising stars.
Former Australian international Mike Hussey will captain the side, which also includes New South Wales speedster Pat Cummins and Victorian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
Siaka’s selection is an exciting opportunity for the emerging talent and highlights the continuing development of cricket in Papua New Guinea. A right-handed top-order batsman and leg-spin bowler, Siaka is rookie-listed at the Melbourne Renegades for this season and is playing for Victorian Premier Cricket club Essendon. In Papua New Guinea’s inaugural ODI series against Hong Kong in Townsville in November last year, he scored 109 in the second match of the two-game series.
CA National Selection Panel chairman Rod Marsh said Siaka’s selection for the Prime Minister’s XI match was exciting.
“This match is a special fixture on the Australian cricketing calendar and a magnificent tradition,” he said.
“We are also excited about 22 year old batsman Lega Siaka, contracted to the Melbourne Renegades in the KFC T20 Big Bash League.
“Lega scored a century for Papua New Guinea in their first ever one-day international series in November when they defeated Hong Kong, and he is a confident young batsman who will excite the fans.
“His selection highlights PNG’s growth as a cricketing nation.”
Cricket PNG General Manager Greg Campbell, himself a former Australian international, was equally thrilled with Siaka’s selection.
“2014 was a big year for PNG cricket,” he said.
“We just missed out on qualification for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, jumped to 16th in the world rankings and won our first ever ODI series. Lega was a critical part of that success with big runs at the top of the order, he is dynamite in the field and his inclusion in the Prime Minister’s XI is just reward for a fantastic 12 months.”