Cricket PNG has made submissions to the relevant authorities seeking clarification so that cricket can continue to be played in compliance with the new measure restricting any gatherings of more than 20 people now in place.
Cricket PNG believes that cricket does comply with this and would like to be able to play and train in accordance with all lockdown measures.
While we await confirmation of our interpretation of the new measures, Cricket PNG has suspended all cricket, and has instituted full Covid protocols allowing only small groups trainings.
Cricket is a non-contact outdoor sport, where at no time are there more than 15 people on the field (11 fielders, 2 batters, and 2 umpires).
A cricket field is a large outdoor space, the approximate size of two rugby fields, where it is rare for any player to be within two metres of each other, and even then, they do not touch. Cricket PNG acknowledges that no spectators can be permitted to games to be compliant with these measures.
Cricket PNG, as much as any sport can be, has been at the forefront of the fight against Covid in PNG. All our contracted players and staff are vaccinated, and we have consistently promoted vaccination. We have protocols in place that all staff and visitors to Cricket PNG must follow, including mask use. We maintain separate areas for each team off the field during games, ensuring that we stay well below the 20 people gathering limit.
We are hopeful for a quick and positive response to our submission to clarify the lockdown measures, as it is vitally important for our fully vaccinated Kumul Petroleum PNG Lewas to be able to train and play matches with only four weeks left before they depart to represent PNG in Zimbabwe in their own World Cup Qualifying tournament.
We are confident that the authorities understand that Cricket PNG is committed to work constructively with them, are champions for vaccination and diligently practice being Covid Safe.