The ICC Cricket World Cup trophy had a huge success with the global tour in Papua New Guinea © Getty Images (File Photo)
The ICC Cricket World Cup trophy had a huge success in the global tour at Papua New Guinea © Getty Images (File Photo)

Oct 6, 2014

The ICC Cricket World Cup fever struck Oceania’s Papua New Guinea when the glamorous and historic trophy reached the island nation for a short tour.

Former cricketers like Arjuna Ranatunga and Asanka Gurusinha, who were members of the 1996 World Cup winning Sri Lankan team, along with Australia‘s Andy Bichel and Carl Rackemann too joined the trophy tour, reports ICC‘s official website.

Papua New Guinea were recently awarded ODI status by the ICC as they competed in the qualifiers of the ICC Cricket World Cup held in New Zealand earlier this year following their rise in the global ranking to the 16th spot.

The trophy was displayed around Port Moresby in a number of events, and also provided both national cricketers and the fans a chance to touch the silverware, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Cricket has started to grow at the grass-root level in the island. With the number of participants expected to be above 1,70,000, the foretaste of the silverware would be hard for the communities to forget very soon. The former cricketers who visited the island nation on the trophy tour sensed the passion and the development of cricket in the small nation as they were pleasantly surprised to witness the response of the trophy tour in the villages.

“Cricket PNG and even myself were overwhelmed when we saw the trophy. As you know, I’ve played in that era and never was lucky enough to make it to the final squad to see the actual World Cup trophy. You saw the atmosphere and the response from all the kids. The love a trophy like that, it’s one of the biggest trophies in world sport,” said the CEO of Cricket PNG, Greg Campbell.

“When I look back, when I first played in a World Cup was 1987. Until then, I hadn’t seen a trophy or anything like that. So for PNG, these guys are not in a World Cup but they’re seeing the trophy. That should be motivation to say ‘we should be able to carry that one day’. I think that’s a great thing ICC is doing,” said Asanka Gurusinha, who in the 1996 World Cup final scored 65 in Lahore, Pakistan.

The East Asia-Pacific region received some great news regarding the development of the sport when it was announced by Cricket Australia Chairman and the Executive Committee Chairman of the ICC, Wally Edwards, that a few of the proceedings from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 would be awarded to the emerging nations of cricket in the region for their infrastructure development fund. They too were in the island nation to check-out for few of the developing talents in the country.

The fund is being considered by the Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket and the ICC as a corporeal approach to craft a momentous force towards developing the game into a global one. They have asked for a $1 million fund from the government as well as the sponsors for the edifice of 100 or more synthetic cricket turfs.

The ICC Cricket World Cup kicks-off on February 14th in Christchurch, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia and wraps up on March 29 with the finals at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne. 10 full members of the ICC would be participating in the tournament along with four qualifiers – Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland and United Arab Emirates (UAE).