ICC EAP U19 Trophy PNG vs Fiji

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Digicel PNG U19 Garamuts team are set to maintain their winning record in the ICC EAP U19 Trophy when they take on Fiji u19 team in the opening match come tomorrow in Blenheim, New Zealand.

The EAP Under-19 Cricket Trophy is a regular cricket competition organised by ICC East Asia-Pacific (EAP) for the under-19 teams of its representative nations. The tournament acts as a qualifier for the Under-19 World Cup.
The tournament was first held in 2001, and has been held regularly since 2007. Prior to 2001, EAP teams could attempt to qualify for the World Cup via the Youth Asia Cup, an Asian Cricket Council (ACC) event. In 2003 and 2005, a joint event was organised with the African Cricket Association.
Papua New Guinea have won all five editions of the tournament, and also won the 2003 joint Africa/EAP tournament.

In the last Edition of the tournament in 2013 Digicel PNG U19 Garamuts defeated Vanuatu in the final to advance to their seventh (7th) ICC U19 Cricket World Cup while Fiji finished third in the tournament that was held in Queensland, Australia.

Digicel PNG U19 Garamuts, are coached by John Ovia, and Dipak Patel, current Cricket PNG Head Coach.

PNG Coach John Ovia said that he is convinced with the boy’s preparations and mindset on track as they will take on the Fiji Team.

“We have a record to maintain and the boys have shown good progress in their training so far. There is no turning back in the match tomorrow. We are going into the field with only one aim and that is to win Fiji” Ovia said.
Fiji, along with Papua New Guinea is the only side to have appeared at every EAP Under-19 Trophy, trained at Buckhurst Park, Suva, with Australian Shane Jurgensen serving as the team's coach for the tournament.

After a disappointing last few years at Under 19 level, Fiji look set to take the next step in their development thanks to an improved high performance program and junior cricket structure in country. Like Vanuatu, the expectation of this group of Fijian players is a top two finish.

 “With the two spots available to advance in qualification we look at it as a 50/50 opportunity,” said Fiji coach Shane Jurgensen. “A lot of these boys play a high level of cricket back home and that’s what these tournaments are all about, getting more exposure to good competition and playing on grass and despite a few challenges in our preparation we will put our best foot forward and see how we go.”

The EAP Under-19 Cricket Trophy is a regular cricket competition organised by ICC East Asia-Pacific (EAP) for the under-19 teams of its representative nations. The tournament acts as a qualifier for the Under-19 World Cup The tournament will incorporate a single round-robin, with each team playing the other once. Fixtures will overlap with the group stages of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, being hosted in Australia and New Zealand at the same time (Blenheim is not hosting any World Cup matches).