5 Papua New Guinea (PNG) players to watch out for in T20 World Cup 2024

Papua New Guinea have qualified for the T20 World Cup for the second time ever in their history. They were also a part of T20 World Cup 2021, where they finished winless.

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Papua New Guinea will be making its second T20 World Cup appearance, when they take the field in the upcoming edition, to be held in the West Indies and the USA. The squad boasts of good experienced players which will be crucial for them.

PNG were winless in their last appearance at T20 World Cup in 2021. They will be aiming to better their performance in this edition. The team qualified by winning the East Asia-Pacific Qualifiers, in which they won all of their six matches comfortably..

The T20 World Cup 2024 presents them with a great opportunity to add more feathers to their cap. PNG have retained 10 players from their last T20 World Cup appearance. Let's take a look at some players from their squad who will be ones to watch out for.

Five Papua New Guinea players to watch out for in T20 World Cup 2024

1. Assad Vala

T20I Career: Matches 59, Runs 1244, Avg. 26.46, SR. 118.46

Assad Vala is the captain of Papua New Guinea for the T20 World Cup 2024. He is one of the most experienced players of the team who can contribute with both bat and ball. Vala was PNG's second highest run-scorer in the East Asia Pacific Qualifiers played last year. The left-hander likes to bat long and has the ability to notch up big scores. Adding to this, he is a skillful off-spinner as well. This could be his last T20 World Cup and he will be aiming to make a statement..

2. Tony Ura

T20I Career: Matches 56, Runs 1618, Avg. 34.42, SR. 156.02

Tony Ura is likely to be the opening partner of Assad Vala in T20 World Cup 2024. Ura is an attacking player who likes to make good use of powerplay restrictions. He is also a part-time wicketkeeper. Ura was the second highest run-scorer overall and PNG's highest run-scorer in East Asia Pacific Qualifiers last year. He has an excellent record in T20I cricket and is one of the best players in PNG's squad. He will be tasked to give strong starts to his team.

3. Charles Amini

T20I Career: Matches 56, Runs 994, Bat Avg. 25.48, SR. 118.61, Wkts 41, Bowl Avg. 18.82, ER. 6.24

Charles Amini comes from a cricketing background. He is a quality player with excellent all-round abilities. Amini bats in the middle order and is also a useful legspinner, which can be crucial in Caribbean conditions. The 32-year old was in fabulous form with both bat and ball in PNG's recent T20I series in Malaysia, played in March 2024. He top-scored in the series with 124 runs in 2 matches. He also picked up 4 wickets with the ball. Being the vice-captain of the team, he will be expected to deliver solid performances with both bat and ball.

 4. John Kariko

T20I Career: Matches 16, Wkts 25, Bowl Avg. 11.40, ER. 5.01

Kariko is an orthodox left-arm spinner who has created a sensational beginning to his international career. The 20-year-old was PNG's highest wicket-taker in the East Asia Pacific Qualifiers played last year with 10 wickets in 6 matches to his name at an average of just 11.40. He also has previous experience of playing in West Indies' conditions because of PNG's appearance in the Under-19 World Cup 2022, where he also picked up a five-wicket haul against Uganda. He is the youngest member of this squad and can be threatening in favorable conditions here.

5. Norman Vanua

T20I Career: Matches 55, Wkts 63, Bowl Avg. 19.23, ER. 7.31

Vanua is the most experienced seamer in this squad. The 30-year-old right arm quick bowls well with the new ball and is also a designated death bowler in this team. Vanua was PNG's second-highest wicket-taker in the East Asia Pacific Qualifiers played last year, with 10 wickets in 5 matches at an average of 8.80. He is also a handy batter lower down the order and already has three fifties to his name in T20Is. He is the leader of this bowling attack and will be expected to deliver at the biggest stage.

Papua New Guinea squad for T20 World Cup 2024

Assad Vala (C), CJ Amini (VC), Alei Nao, Chad Soper, Hila Vare, Hiri Hiri, Jack Gardner, John Kariko, Kabua Vagi Morea, Kiplin Doriga (wk), Lega Siaka, Norman Vanua, Sema Kamea, Sese Bau, Tony Ura (wk)

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