Barras leave for UAE tour

The Hebou PNG Barramundis left the country yesterday to the Middle East for the upcoming United Arab Emirates (UAE) tour.

Before leaving, Head Coach, Dipak Patel spoke on preparations leading into the tour that will run from March 21-April 14.

“The squad has been busy with their S&C (Strength and Conditioning) and skills training sessions five days a week.

“Their fitness is at a high level; however the wet weather interfered a lot on our skills preparation,” Patel said.

He added the squad has some changes with the return of fast bowler, Norman Vanua and wicket keeper, Jack Vare.

“Yes, we are pleased and we welcome them back. They both bring so much experience and leadership to the squad. Jack has worked really hard to come back a good month ahead of his rehab. 

“Norman also has had a frustrating injury and it's been slow in responding to his rehab, however he has trained full on for the last three weeks and we are confident his work loads are close to where we'd want him for the tour. 

“We will give them every opportunity to get back to match fitness in the early part of the tour,” said Patel.

For the first time, the Barramundis will be playing a couple of English County teams which Patel says will be a challenge and a great experience for them.

“Although we did play a number of Countries in warm up games 18 months ago, these games will be close to their full strength squads.

“We can use this challenge to play against seasoned professional to prepare for the UAE series. The squad is very excited in playing these fixtures. 

“Playing the UAE on their own patch is always a huge challenge and we won't be taking them lightly, but at the same time we don't want give them too much respect either,” said Patel. 

Troy Taule