Papua New Guinea August 24, 2009

Bichel takes up PNG post

Tony Monro

Tony Monro

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