This support is from the Australian Government and international cricketing partners.
Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp in a brief ground breaking ceremony last Tuesday launched the cricket pitch at the Lelehoa Primary School, Ahioma village, in front of a small crowd of enthusiastic cricket playing youngsters and cricketers from the Ahioma Cricket Association.
Ahioma Cricket Association and the province’s only representative, Under-19 Garamut all-rounder, Katenalaki Singi, who has made rave reviews in his dream debut on tour in the West Indies is where he honed his cricketing skills, especially on this oval that will be redeveloped.
High Commissioner Philp told the Ahioma cricketers that it was nice to support cricket in PNG especially in Alotau with the Garamuts playing overseas.
He said he was proud to support cricket with building five cricket pitches here in Milne Bay starting with the one in Ahioma. He hoped to come back in a few years to see the cricket pitches in operation.
PNG Cricket Board member, Captain Timothy Narara, on behalf of Cricket PNG thanked the Australian High Commission, Australian Government in association with the Zealand Government, International Cricket Council and Cricket PNG who have committed to build and support cricket in PNG.
Captain Narara said they have pledged to build 44 cricket pitches nationwide and so far, have built 34.
He also said Ahioma being the first of five cricket pitches will be realign by 45 degrees with synthetic pitch.
The other cricket pitches to be developed are Naura, Waigani, Bou and KB subject to land issues with two new associations coming on board like Garuahi and Dogura that already has a cement pitch.
“Cricket is a team sport that brings communities together and young Ahioma cricketer, Katenalaki Singis profile was a wonderful example of cricket being a team sport.
“With these cricket pitches up and running, I hope we produce more players like Kate to represent PNG in the Garamuts, Lewas and Barramundis,” said Narara.
The Ahioma Cricket Association President, Lebasi Tarua also thanked all involved in developing cricket in Milne Bay when accepting a bag of cricket equipment from the Australian High Commission.