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October 20, 2021

Charles Amini

Muscat , Oman

Oman Cricket Academy Ground

Papua New Guinea

Pre Match Media Conference

Q. Charles, you guys don't get the chance to play bigger nations very often. So how big is this opportunity for you?

CHARLES AMINI: It's probably the biggest opportunity, I guess, as far as the games that we've had so far. This will be our first test as a team against one of the best T20 teams going.

They've been in really good form leading up to the T20 World Cup, defeating Australia and New Zealand. Although they lost their first game, they're still a good team, and we're really looking forward to this opportunity tomorrow.

Q. What does it actually mean to the nation of PNG to play in this stage and playing a team like Bangladesh on the world stage? How do you guys feel and the country feels like that?

CHARLES AMINI: I think we're really proud of our efforts of making a World Cup. This is our first time at a World Cup. So we're very proud of our efforts.

We've lost the first two games, but we still have a chance. We're very hopeful that we still have a chance that we can do it. Scotland caused an upset in the first game, and we're pretty sure that we can also do the same thing.

Q. Charles, congratulations on your journey so far. It's obviously been something to be very proud of, and I'm sure you'll keep growing. Just wanted to understand what is the development cricket schedule? When you go back from here, what happens next?

CHARLES AMINI: When we go back, we still have the World Cricket League that we still have to play. We've got a few home games and away games. Although we're not sitting at the right side of the table, going back to PNG, we still have a lot of things to do, especially World Cricket League.

There's still a long way to go for the World Cricket League, but going back to development, there's still a lot of things we have to improve on. We would like to have players going and playing overseas or playing club cricket in Australia or New Zealand or wherever they get selected. That's obviously part of development.

Looking at the future, we also want to develop the younger boys that are in this team, give them the exposure and even more experience playing at this kind of level.

Q. Do you have a lot of exciting youngsters coming through back home?

CHARLES AMINI: Yes, we do. We have a few bowlers there, unfortunately, not to get selected, but we have a few young boys training hard at home. I think, when the World Cricket League comes, hopefully they get better opportunity, and they make the most of it.

We have a few batsmen as well. Young Simon Atai, this is his first test in the highest. There's no other levels that you can go to. This is the highest level of cricket that you can go to, a World Cup. So this is good experience for him, and hopefully him playing more cricket at this level, he'll be the future of the batting side moving forward.

Q. We wish him well in that. PNG and Oman go a long way back. You've risen through the ranks of WCL together, et cetera. How do you see the Omani team, its development, its current status, and the facilities that you've seen over here?

CHARLES AMINI: I was very surprised at the facilities here, especially as an associate nation. Having these kinds of facilities, you can't take it for granted, and I think it's part of where they're at now. They're making the most of it. They've got very good players, and they've come a long way, especially the same as us, we've come a long way. We both started from Division 3 and worked our way up towards Division 1.

Having very high facilities or world class facilities is obviously one of the main reasons of how you can improve, and they're very fortunate and blessed to have this kind of support from the governing body or whoever they get their funding from to build these kind of facilities.

Q. Your performance in the game yesterday, especially it was the end, was amazing. It was a very fighting performance. And your only realistic chance of making it to the next round is through the run rate. Will you be going all out tomorrow, or what would be the strategy as such?

CHARLES AMINI: I think the first thing would be trying to win the match. I think it will be history in the making to win at least a game in the World Cup. So that would be the first thing at the moment. Whatever happens after that is not in our control.

We'll try to do our best. If there's an opportunity in us qualifying for the next stage with the net run rate, we'll obviously try to work towards that and winning in that way. We're looking forward to the opportunity tomorrow. Whatever happens in the end, we're just looking forward to trying to get a win for PNG.

Q. You're from a rich cricketing family. Your mom and dad and brother all played for PNG, and now you're playing for your country. How good is it to continue this journey for your family, and how excited were your family that you're playing in this World Cup?

CHARLES AMINI: They're very excited. They message me every day, and they call me, and they keep reminding me of how proud they are, and I'm very proud to carry this name, the name of Amini. Hopefully the next generation of my family can do the same thing.

Yes, I'm very honored and very proud to be representing my family on the world stage, and I know that they're very proud of me, and I'm trying to do the best that I can. Hopefully, I can continue making them proud.

Q. Your father played in the ICC Trophy, which was once the qualifier for the ODI World Cup. He played from 1986 in every ICC Trophy. Have you heard of his tours? Bangladesh also used to play in that trophy back then.

CHARLES AMINI: Yes, he has spoken about his tours then, and I believe they finished third. That was the highest they finished. PNG finished third, and I believe Bangladesh had won that tournament, the ICC Trophy that year. Yes, he reminds me of that.

It's part of the journey also where Bangladesh have come from. Hopefully, PNG can do the same thing. Everyone's been on that journey to where they are now, including Sri Lanka, they've all come from just ordinary associate cricket. It wasn't associate cricket then, but they worked their way up. Also Zimbabwe. They've all come from where we are right now.

Looking forward and looking to the future, hopefully one day we can get to that stage where we're playing test cricket.

Q. I just would like to know, this is the first ever World Cup participation for your nation. So what are the big learnings that you've been able to take away from the first two games against Oman and Scotland?

CHARLES AMINI: Probably staying in the moment. All the hype around the World Cup, playing on the biggest stage and the billions of years we've never experienced any of this.

We play back at home, and PNG we don't have a lot of big crowds. We don't play in front of a lot of crowds. Playing in a tournament like this, or especially a stadium like this, it's something that we can take away. Probably going into another tournament next time, we're aware of what's going to happen and the surroundings and all the media and all those kind of things.

What we can take away from this is just staying in the moment, not looking too far ahead of ourselves, not looking at -- or not being distracted by things that we can't control, such as the media and the grounds. So things that we can control, just staying in the moment. That's one thing that we've learned.

We're enjoying the moment. We're enjoying the World Cup. This is the first of its kind for all of us, so we're enjoying every minute of it. Everyone's excited. Everyone at home is very proud of us. We came here to show what kind of cricket that PNG plays, and hopefully we're doing that.

Q. How do you think participating in an event like this may help boys and girls in PNG who have never picked up a ball before to now get involved in the game?

CHARLES AMINI: That's probably one thing we wanted, having that exposure. PNG's Rugby League dominate the sport. They all play rugby around the country. So with cricket being showed on the world stage and everyone at home supporting us, hopefully, the next group of kids at school, or where they be on the street, they can pick up a bat or a ball and know that, if they're skillful enough or if they're determined or passionate enough for the love of the sport, they know that, if they can do that, it can take them places around the world and hopefully one day play in a World Cup just like us.

Q. Just wondering if you have had the chance to meet any of the Bangladesh players or any other player that you wanted to meet and had a chance to talk to anyone? And secondly, who's your batting hero? Who do you model yourself on?

CHARLES AMINI: I would love to talk and meet with the Bangladesh players, especially players who are very experienced and have played all around the world, such as Shakib. He's one of the best all-rounders in the world. He's recently just become the highest wicket taker in T20 international. I'd love to have a conversation with him and how he goes about his game, what kind of plans he has.

He's a left-handed batter just like me. I'd like to see what he does as his routines and learn as much as possible of him. Like I said, he's one of the best players in the world.

Not even just him, all the Bangladesh players have played enough cricket to know how to play the game, and they've played enough cricket. They're all test players. So anyone that I would like to have a chat with will be such a great moment.

When we played Sri Lanka in the warmup match, (indiscernible) came in the dressing room and spoke to us in how to go about the game and chasing the targets. It was great learning with one of the best players in the world.

So, yeah, I would love to talk to the Bangladesh players after the game. Sorry, what was the second question?

Q. Your batting hero. Who did you grow up emulating?

CHARLES AMINI: My batting heroes, I would say I'll go with Adam Gilchrist. He's a very aggressive player. Also being a left-hander, he was one of those batsmen, wicket keeper batsmen that changed the game of cricket, very aggressive. Not a lot of batters in the top order bat similar to him, very aggressive and take the game away in the first six to ten overs. So he was one of my batting heroes growing up.

Q. One more question. Cricketers like Sandeep Lamichhane and other associated nations, they've also broken into the T20 leagues. Is that something that you're looking at, especially when playing at a World Cup?

CHARLES AMINI: Yes, definitely. I think this is the exposure we need for PNG cricket. I believe if anyone does well, it could take one good game that can turn some heads, and I think that's what we're looking at. The best way to do it is on the world stage, and now's the time to do it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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