Everyday People PNG : John Kariko

Around 10 years old, my favourite sport was volleyball. I didn’t like playing cricket.

My father, who is a former Barramundis player, would always encourage me to play cricket, but I never listened. 

When I reached 13, I started playing cricket in the Hanuabada village competition. I really liked cricket from then on.

By age 15, I had joined the local cricket club and things just evolved from there. 

Now at 17 and enthusiastically training for my debut on the international stage, I can say the game has taught me so much. 

I learnt a lot of things through cricket beyond like batting and fielding techniques, like respect the coaches and our parents.

Training has been good. I still need to work on my running and batting skills, as we’ve only had a few months of training, but I’m very excited to be playing in the World Cup and a bit nervous of travelling.

I want to learn as much as I can from the other participating countries that will be at the World Cup. 

I like retired Australian cricketer, Mitchel Johnson. He bowls a lot of trick balls and I’ve never seen a bowler bowl like that before, especially for him as a left-handed bowler and me being one too.

Before the U19 team’s first game in the World Cup, I’d like to remind the boys that we’re doing this for our country. And I want to encourage them to think big.

I would like to thank my family for always encouraging me to join the sport since I was a boy. 

I also extend my gratitude towards Cricket PNG for the opportunity to make the team – a truly unforgettable experience for me.

Carmella Gware