Everyday People PNG : Assadollah Vala

2005 was when it started for me when I played in my debut List A match.

It was a Twenty20 International match against Belfast.

All the real hard work was put in, in 2014, when PNG got its ODI status.

That was when I debuted in the Hongkong vs PNG match in November 8th, 2014.

And after all these years, I still love cricket because of how much good it has done for him.

My love for the sport developed while watching my family play. I saw how much they enjoyed it and I wanted to enjoy it just as much as they did.

Family really is at the core of the sport for me. My older brother and Jimmy Maha are my inspirations. They are the two people who I looked up to and trained to be like because of their outstanding batting skills.

I’ve gone to places I had only watched on TV, and I’ve made friends over the years with people all over the world and we still keep in touch.

Playing and representing my country in what I love doing is something that keeps me going.

It’s also about enjoying the game, and the players I have around me are like brothers to me. I love being around them; it really motivates me.

I will be leading the PNG Barramundis into the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The matches are taking place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17th to November 14th.

It’s historic! We’ve gone so close to qualifying on several occasions before so it’s a really big moment for us.

Every cricketer on this team (Barras) has dreamt of playing in the World Cup, testing ourselves against the best, and the World Cup is the pinnacle of the game.

So to see people who we watch on TV, and play against them is a dream come true. It’s something the boys and I are looking forward to.

Captaining the team, I have really taken to heart the journey I’ve been through. Personally, knowing where I came from and now going out and exploring the world, the cultures of other countries and meeting new people is a refreshing experience.

Going into the World Cup will be a different experience, especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic; we will not be able to move around as much as in past tours.

Being away from home, I will certainly miss my wife and child, as well as all the smiling faces. But I am thrilled about going into this tournament.

Carmella Gware