Current West Indies One-Day International captain and global T20 superstar, Dwayne Bravo, has signed an exclusive deal to act as development mentor and ambassador for a number of cricket advancement initiatives in the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea.
In his mentor and ambassadorship roles, Bravo will visit International Cricket Council Associate Member nation Papua New Guinea next week to participate in the ICC award-winning “Don’t Drink and Drive Legends Bash”, a joint venture campaign sponsored by Cricket PNG and Pacific MMI Insurance.
This will kick-off Bravo’s PNG cricket advancement initiatives, ahead of the country’s Independence Day celebratory weekend. The famed all-rounder will be joined by fellow West Indian cricketing superstars, Kemar Roach and Richie Richardson, who both also will fly into the capital city of Port Moresby, next week.
The deal will see Bravo make sponsored visits across schools, academies and rural communities throughout greater Port Moresby, to motivate and inspire youth through cricket, assist with cricket development programs and mentor a flourishing influx of hard-hitting national and international-level Papua New Guinean cricketers, whose star performers have recently been under the keen scrutiny of global T20 leagues for their effortless impressive stroke play.
Bravo, supported by Roach and Richardson, will also launch Cricket PNG’s inaugural entry into the South Australian Cricket Association T20 Premier League, making Cricket PNG the first ever international team to enter the new Australian competition, due to get underway in September.
The West Indian trio will be honoured at a VIP Gala Dinner in Port Moresby, which will be attended by the country’s ministers of Parliament, top dignitaries and other high-profile corporate and business sector leaders.
Cricket PNG’s CEO, Greg Campbell, a former Australian Test cricketer and uncle to iconic Australian cricketing superstar Ricky Ponting, said he reached out to Bravo’s representative, Emma Everett, in a bid to request that the top
cricketer play role of mentor and ambassador to PNG’s gifted international squad and the country at large.
“Papua New Guinea is a cricket-mad nation and our team have historically always looked up to West Indies cricketers,” said Campbell. “In fact, the West Indies were the first international team to tour PNG back in 1975 and our cricketers look to emulate their entertaining style of play and their spirit of the game.
“We wanted to align our top players with a mentor and a powerful global superstar who could inspire them with his presence and his invaluable international experience and guidance. Dwayne Bravo has achieved incredible heights of success within both West Indies cricket and on a global platform, and as the current captain of the West Indies ODI squad, we felt he was the perfect candidate.”
He added that Cricket PNG was participating in a number of crucial cricket advancement initiatives and their players and the public were elated at the forthcoming arrival of Bravo, Roach and Richardson on their shores.
“The atmosphere and excitement in the air that Dwayne Bravo, Kemar Roach and Richie Richardson are coming to town, has been astonishing,” said Campbell.
Bravo echoed the Cricket PNG CEO’s sentiments saying: “Advancing the game of cricket in developing nations of the world is something I have always wanted to become involved in. A cricketer today is a role model to millions and I wanted to use this opportunity to pass my knowledge, skills and expertise onto promising new talent and use my own experiences and leadership aptitude, to motivate youth across the world.”
Roach and Richardson agreed that visiting Papua New Guinea ahead of the country’s Independence Day celebratory weekend, in particular, would bring forth poignant memories of a world championship West Indies team from 1975, who were back then, the first international team to visit the South Pacific nation, and on that occasion too, during the country’s Independence Day celebrations.
Papua New Guinea is the strongest team in the ICC’s East Asia/Pacific region, having won gold in the South Pacific Games on every occasion the tournament has taken place, to date. They have also played in every ICC tournament since its inception in 1979 and remain undefeated in EAP events since 2008 and command positions of T20 and 50 over Champions, respectively.
The first programme of the Dwayne Bravo led PNG cricket advancement initiatives will take place on September 12 in Port Moresby. (windiescricket)