Pacific sports news in brief


Cricket PNG seeks new coach; academy launched for West Papua football talents; and French Polynesia is preparing for the Pacific Games

Cricket coach leaves his post

PNG Barramundis head coach Carl Sandri has resigned.

The Postal mail reports that Sandri has been on leave from Cricket PNG since returning from the recent ICC T20 World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe, where Barramundis finished third.

Carl Sandri, PNG Barramundis coach.
Photo: Screenshot

He was not with the team on the recent Australian tour where they played in the NT Strike Top End T20 competition.

Cricket PNG said Sandri decided to step down for personal and family reasons, which impacted her ability to travel with the team and spend enough time in PNG.

Cricket PNG Chairman Michael Harrison said Sandri had led the Barramundis through a very difficult and unprecedented time due to covid-19 travel restrictions.

“It is unfortunate that Covid-19 happened at the start of Sandri’s appointment as it severely affected his ability to mobilize in PNG and work closely with the players.

“Both parties agreed that this was essential for any Cricket PNG coach and important to the long-term success of Cricket PNG’s high performance programme,” Harrison said.

Despite taking over the role of head coach at the height of Covid restrictions, Sandri led the Barramundis to their first senior ICC T20 World Cup.

Barramundis won a bilateral ODI series in Nepal and recorded their first win in Cricket World Cup Series Two under his stewardship.

President launches West Papua Football Academy

Indonesian President Joko Widodo played football with young hopefuls from the Papua Football Academy as he launched a youth academy to hone their skills.

In one broadcast, Widodo was seen passing the ball with young players at Lukas Enembe Stadium in West Papua.

Widodo says West Papua has several sports talents including football, athletics and rowing.

As part of the academy, children from the age of 12 have the opportunity to enter the various age group national teams and the senior Indonesian national teams.

Up to 30 Papuan boys were selected from a total of 477 entrants, with the talent search being conducted in the towns of Timika, Merauke and Jayapura.

All students receive a full scholarship to complete a two-year course.

The Olympic Committee is preparing for the next Pacific Games

The French Polynesia Olympic Committee has launched a multi-stakeholder project to prepare athletes for next year’s Pacific Games.

Officials from the Department of Youth and Sports of French Polynesia, the French Ministry of Sports and the joint technical support mission for youth and sports were invited to participate in the development of a path towards the Games, to be held in the Solomon Islands in 2023.

This will cover training, team selection and collaboration opportunities.

After 2023, French Polynesia should host the next Pacific Games.


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