Sport: World Cup winning cricketer impressed by PNG
A World Cup winning cricketer says there are parallels between the progress made by Papua New Guinea cricket in recent years and the rise of Sri Lanka in the 1980s and early 90s.
World Cup winning cricketer Asanka Gurusinha believes the progress made by the Papua New Guinea team in recent years is not dissimilar to the rise of Sri Lanka in the 1980s and 90s.
Gurusinha is in PNG this week, alongside former teammate Arjuna Ranatunga and ex Australian internationals Carl Rackemann and Andy Bichel to hold coaching clinics and compete in Saturday's T20 Big Bash.
He told Vinnie Wylie he's been very impressed by what he has seen.
ASANKA GURUSINHA: It's very much Sri Lanka a long time a go. When I started, I started playing in '84 so also a little bit earlier than that PNG is pretty much in that position where to end up to be number 16 in the world in one day cricket I think it's huge achievement and with so much less facilities and support around, and that's the reason when they spoke to me I pretty much wanted to come down and give whatever I can give back to cricket. It doesn't matter which country but I just want to give something back to cricket, through my experience and be a part of it in the world cup as well.
VINNIE WYLIE: What sort of involvement do you still have in the game?
AG: I actually don't the last ten years or so. I still do some coaching privately when somebody wants for me to have a look at their batting skills and all of that. I'm level three qualified in Australia so I do a little bit. I'm getting more involved with Sri Lanka Cricket at this stage in more of a development part. I've lived in Australia for the last 18 years [and I'm] trying to get some players down, young players, to come and play in Victoria in district cricket and try to get some experience through that, so that's most probably where I'm now involved but that doesn't mean what will happen in the future, nobody knows.
VW: You get that with a lot of - especially Papua New Guinea, at the stage they're at in their development - but a few of the Pacific teams as well: getting those guys to go to Australia on a scholarship to play senior club cricket for a year or two or be involved in wider squads with some of the Big Bash [T20] teams, as has happened, as part of the development for these guys?
AG: Absolutely and that's why I was talking to Greg [Campbell, Cricket PNG General Manager] this morning, saying how many players will be in Melbourne, because I can support them there, I can do some specialist batting coaching lessons with them plus get them into, as you said, training with the Big Bash sides, with the Victorian team, and get that experience of how a State side in Australia go through their training programmes and get to know how much work these guys will have to put in. Especially when they're just about to sign some full-time contracts most probably the responsibility changes. That's where I think you've got to get the thinking part of it changed, saying ok we are not just coming to training and then going home and doing the job - we now need to put more effort and get the team into another level. I think it's a thinking side they'll have to change alot, which I would like to do whatever I can to get them into that level.
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