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PNG Barramundi fast bowler Raymond Haoda Jnr has landed in Brisbane to have a crack at Queensland cricket, after being selected to take part in the QLD Bulls Cricket Elite Pace Bowler Development Programme.
Along with nine of the best young fast bowlers from around Queensland, Raymond will have the benefit of state-of-the-art sport technology and science, will receive advice from some of the best cricket coaches in the world and will also be able to pick the brains of some former and current Queensland and Australian cricketers, with whom he will share training facilities.
The programme will see training six days a week at Queensland Cricket's facilities at Allan Border Oval and with a personal trainer in a local gym. As part of his training, Raymond will spend time under the expert tutelage of QLD Cricket's pace bowling and strength and conditioning coaching staff and PNG coaching director Andy Bichel. He will be competing throughout the programme for a future position in the QLD Bull's State Program and has also signed to play premier cricket for North's Cricket Club in Brisbane as part of his development.
Cricket PNG high performance manager and captain of the Barramundi's, Rarua Dikana said: "Raymond was quietly confident ahead of his arrival into Brisbane. We have to remember that he is the first player from outside a Test playing nation to take the most wickets at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. He took more wickets than Josh Hazlewood, who has since gone on to play one-day internationals for Australia in England this week."
Raymond is a rare talent and if he works hard and takes on board the advice of the coaches around him, we may well see him playing first-class cricket in Australia for the QLD Bulls."
With the PNG Barramundi's in training to take on the Australian Indigenous XI in the "Don't Drink and Drive Challenge" in late July, Raymond will take a week off from the programme to fly home to represent his country.
Cricket PNG CEO, Bill Leane, wished Raymond the best of luck: "Raymond is a great young ambassador for our sport and we wish him all the best for his time in Australia. I would like to thank Queensland Cricket for recognising Junior's potential and I congratulate his very proud family for all the support they have given him in pursuing his dreams."
This article first appeared in the ICC East Asia-Pacific Newsflash July 2010
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