Other Countries news August 27, 2010

Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea prepare for WCL Division 3

Cricinfo staff

Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea (PNG) will take part in a quadrangular series as part of their preparation for the World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in January next year. The quadrangular series, which includes one-day and Twenty20 games in Port Moresby, also involves Singapore and Malaysia.

"I think the event in PNG will be a great opportunity for our younger guys. A couple of the young up and coming players have been rewarded with selection and it's a good opportunity for me to see the guys in action," Hong Kong coach Charlie Burke said. "It will be interesting to see the attitude and preparation of the guys and it gives us a chance to see some of the fringe players who will be vying for a spot in the Asian Games team and WCL Division 3."

Burke added his team had much to improve on ahead of the tournament. "We have a lot of work to do ahead of Division 3 but we have a few guys in the UK playing club cricket and won't be able to come on this tour, which has made me look at some of the fringe players," Burke said. "I am trying to change the style of our play in the mean time. I have been lucky enough to see us play before so I have a bit of an idea but I have my own theories and thoughts on how to play one-day cricket."

Burke said the USA was among the teams to watch out for in the WCL Division 3 and expected a competitive tournament . "I think the USA is probably a side that certainly deserves to be in Division 3 and some people think they should be even higher. It will be really interesting to see how they go.

"I think the standard of the World Cricket League has developed so much in the last couple of years. It is actually really good cricket and I think that the more and more people who understand how good the cricket is, then I think people will notice it a lot more."

Andy Bichel, the PNG National Coaching Director, said the quadrangular series was ideal preparation. "WCL Division 3 has been the focus of our preparation since I took over the role in August 2009 and tournaments such as this are a key part of that preparation. We need to play against good quality opposition on turf wickets so I'm thrilled that this series has been organised," Bichel said.

"I'm expecting our boys to be ready for the fierce competition ahead and believe that we can continue our momentum towards WCL Division 3."

PNG, Denmark, Oman and hosts Hong Kong will play in the WCL Division 3 along with USA and Italy who qualified last week in Bologna from WCL Division 4.