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Philippine Cricket Association prepares for ICC regional tournaments

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By Faisal Khan

The Philippine Cricket Association (PCA) is preparing for two ICC Regional Tournaments scheduled for 2021 to be contested by the Blue Caps and Carabaos squads. PCA was founded in 1999 to promote and develop an interest in cricket in the Philippines.

After a challenging 2020, the PCA will be looking towards the latter half of 2021 as an opportunity to rebuild and continue the growth in junior, women’s and men’s local player numbers. Current COVID restrictions have seen locally-based players unable to play matches or hold training sessions at this time. However, foreign-based Filipino National Squad members in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong have continued to play matches and continue their training regimens as they gear up for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup Regional Qualifier events later this year.

Philippine Carabaos Men's National Team 2
Philippine Carabaos Men's National Team in action
Philippine Carabaos Men’s National Team in action

The Philippine Blue Caps Women’s National Team had a historic tour to Samoa, the first Philippine women’s team to enter an official ICC event (ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Regional Qualifiers). The team’s T20i debut in a series against Indonesia and growing female domestic competition structure led to an official invitation from the ICC for the side to participate. The current squad of all-Filipina players has achieved multiple domestic club titles in the Philippines and Hong Kong. Getting more chances to play higher-level cricket on the international stage would stand the squad in good stead to work towards being a regional force in women’s cricket.  

Philippine Blue Caps Women's National Team
Philippine Blue Caps Women’s National Team

In October, following the Blue Caps’ campaign, the Philippine Carabaos Men’s National Team will head to Japan for the eight-team ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Regional Qualifiers. The men’s national squad will see the team enter as the highest-ranked team on the ICC T20i rankings for the first time in their history. The PCA is very fortunate to have as Head Coach of the Carabaos Charlie Burke, who was at the helm for Hong Kong’s famous victory against Bangladesh at the 2014 T20 World Cup.

The mixed squad features overseas-based Filipinos (in Australia and New Zealand) alongside Philippine-based players. The goal of the Carabaos will be to emerge as the winners in their upcoming Regional Tournament and, by doing so, claim the single ICC T20 World Cup Global Qualifier berth that’s available.

With the upcoming ICC events for 2021, the PCA encourages any Australian-based Filipino heritage players, both male and female, interested in representing the Philippines in T20i matches for these upcoming tournaments or for future tours to get in touch with the Philippines PCA. Visit the PCA website under ‘How to Join’, ‘National Teams’, FB page ‘Philippine Cricket Association’, and YouTube channel ‘Philippine Cricket TV’ for more information.

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