Indian team faced Japan in their second match of the ongoing ICC U19 World Cup in South Africa and the Japanese team was thoroughly thrashed as they were bowled out for mere 41 runs and then the total was chased down in under 5 overs. Though it was a harsh lesson at top tier cricket for the Asian team, they were highly spirited to play the defending champions India at Bloemfontein.
This is their first experience of playing in a World Cup at the men’s, women’s or junior level. Many of their players are purely ecstatic to play such a good quality of the game against some tough opponents. They will now face Sri Lanka U19 team further in the group stage after their match against New Zealand was rained out. However, more than their game, their qualification for the tournament has proved to be a story in itself, as there was an incident of a robbery that helped them get to the World Cup.
PNG team disqualified from the qualifiers final after players were caught for shoplifting
Yes, you read it correctly. The Japan team made it into the U19 World Cup 2020 in South Africa, thanks to their opponents in the qualifiers for the tournament Papua New Guinea (PNG), which were held in Japanese city of Sano, was caught shoplifting just before the final and had to forfeit the final group match in ICC Under-19 East Asia-Pacific Regional Qualifier.
Both Japan and PNG defeated Samoa, Fiji, and Vanuatu in their first three games respectively and the final group game was going to decide who would secure a spot in the ICC U19 World Cup. However, in a bizarre twist, 11 of 14 PNG players had to be suspended “for internal disciplinary reasons and failing to adhere to strict codes of conduct”.
This led to PNG failing to field a team for the finals against Japan, who created history or the prestigious World Cup for the first time. Later the real reason for PNG’s forfeit was revealed that the 11 suspended players were caught robbing stores and were only released after diplomatic negotiations between Japan and PNG. The players stole from a few shops in Sano where the qualifying tournament was being played.
Some of the players were handed bans and their parents were briefed about the incident. “They were caught doing some stealing, which is a no-crime policy in Japan. It’s not as bad as people said but our point of view, my point of view and the board’s point of view are it doesn’t matter whether it’s one item or 10 items – it’s the same crime,” Cricket PNG Chief Executive Officer Greg Campbell had said in a released statement.
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