August 24, 2009

Papua New Guinea

Bichel takes up PNG post

Martin Williamson

Tony Monro

Andy Bichel poses with the Pura Cup Player of the Year award, State Cricket Awards, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, March 22 2006
 © Getty Images


Andy Bichel, the former Australian fast bowler, has been appointed Papua New Guinea national director of coaching for the next two years. He will oversee the Under-19 and women’s teams as well as the full national side.

Bichel will be based in Brisbane, but Cricket Papua New Guinea general manager Bill Leane said that he will have around 90-100 contact days with the players. He said Bichel's impact on PNG cricket would be about more than just short-term tournament results.

"Andy’s appointment is as much about focusing on developing local coaches as part of a long-term succession plan as it is about developing our players.” Leane said.

Batsman and captain Rarua Dikana has retired and will coach the men's team at the upcoming East Asia Pacific Trophy in Apia, Samoa. Leane said Bichel will not travel to Samoa.

Other coaching appointments include retiring national team players, John Ovia (specialist batting coach) and Jamie Brazier (bowling). Veteran Peter Moide is the new fitness coach.

Meanwhile, for the first time, the 25-member national squad will train five days a week and each player will have individual sponsors. There are 12 debutantes in the Barramundi (men's) squad in what Leane described as a "fresh approach to who will represent us at the World Cricket League Division Three in 2011."

The revamp has come after Papua New Guinea missed out on qualifying for the World Cup Qualifiers by net run rate of 0.01 behind Afghanistan and Uganda.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by Vikram Maingi on (August 26, 2009, 11:33 GMT)

Good luck to Bichel and PNG. I hope that PNG gets a berth for 2015 World Cup

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Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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