Papua New Guinea news October 23, 2014

Papua New Guinea set to make ODI debut

ESPNcricinfo staff

Papua New Guinea are set to make their debut as a one-day international side, when they play two matches against Hong Kong on November 8 and 9 in Townsville, Australia's newest international venue. The teams will also play a three-day match between November 11 and 13.

Hong Kong and PNG were given ODI status by the ICC after finishing fifth and sixth at the World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand this year.

"We want to be performing on the world stage against the big boys in the next five years and regular, quality international cricket is critical to achieving this aim," Dipak Patel, the former New Zealand spinner who is the PNG coach, said. "As our first official ODI matches, the Digicel ODI series is the starting point of the next phase in Cricket PNG's evolution."

The Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, north Queensland, which hosted 2012 Under-19 World Cup matches as well as several international A-team fixtures, was accredited as Australia's tenth international venue after an ICC inspection.

"Cricket Australia has been pleased to support the process of the stadium's accreditation as an ICC-approved venue, because we want more venues around the country to have the capacity to host international cricket," Cricket Australia's Senior Manager - Cricket Operations, Sean Cary, said. "We were impressed with the facilities during the recent series between Australia A and South Africa A, and see a bright future for the stadium."

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