The Papua New Guinea National Cricket Team has finally Qualified for a major cricketing event, The men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. After years of hard work the nation with the highest number of active cricketers outside test cricket are finally on the big stage, One name that will be and has been a familiar sight to PNG fans is Amini, this time around it will be a third-generation Amini carrying on the dynasty to the world stage, today I have the pleasure of speaking with Charles Jordan Alewa Amini, the vice-captain of the Barramundis as they are affectionately known, the man with a smile so infectious that it’s sure to bowl over fans up in Australia, let’s chat C.J.

C.J hammers one to the boundary (pic courtesy peter della pena)

Hi C.J tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a pretty easy person to be around. Love spending time with friends, family and my daughter and also enjoy a good time out as well. I love to watch every sport and in my free time, I play some golf with some mates and play a little bit of squash too. I enjoy going to my village where I go fishing and just relax at the beach away from the city life.

C.J was a member of the Adelaide Strikers Practice Squad

You come from a family that has massively contributed to cricket in PNG, do you feel any pressure of doing well because of your name?

No. No pressure at all. All my family members have done exceptionally well when they played and I also like to think that I’m also doing a great job too. I don’t feel pressured but more honoured to carry the Amini name and hopefully, this name can continue on from generation to generation.

Looking to the future

 I think you are the only player in world cricket that has a ground named after your family name how does it feel playing at Amini Park?

Amini Park is a great ground but it’s also an AFL (Australian Rules) ground. It was named after my grandfather’s brother who was an exceptionally good AFL player and was the first PNG local Cleland Medalist and thus was named after him but I love to play there. It’s been around for years so playing on the same ground my father and grandfather played on is unreal.

PNG play at Amini Park against Kenya

PNG have worked extremely hard to develop cricket there,did you know that PNG has the highest number of active cricketers in an associate nation?

Yes, I do know of the statistic. It has a great school program that allows us to get those numbers in but still has a long way to go. We may have the numbers but we are hoping that we continue to produce quality players like we’ve had in the past and they too can hopefully continue to move Cricket PNG in the right direction.

As a cricketer what’s your most memorable moment?

I have a few memorable moments, to be honest. A few individual performances and a few with the team both on and off but if I would pick one, it would be hosting our first ever international match vs Kenya on home soil at Amini Park in 2015. The field was packed with supporters and the energy was unreal. Nothing better than playing at home with your friends and family watching.

The team celebrates taking a wicket

What are the expectations of PNG at the world Cup?

This is our first time and so we haven’t ranged our expectations but looking at the group we are in, we are confident that we can make it into the super 12’s. It’s a World Cup so every team will be at their peak of performance so if we are able to match that and control what we can control, I believe that we can do well. We don’t like to put expectations on us, if we give all that we got and not qualify for the super 12’s at least we can still walk away with our heads held high.

C.J will be invaluable to PNG at the world cup (pic courtesy Peter Della Pena)

If given the opportunity to play alongside a player past or present who would you choose?

I would love to play alongside Adam Gilchrist. Although he never bowled, his explosiveness as a batsman was what I admired the most. His power and how he attacked bowlers in all formats was unbelievable. Just learning off him would be awesome.

You national side is Nicknamed the Barramundis, What does Barramundis mean?

Barramundi is a fish. It is actually an Aboriginal word (from Australia) meaning large-scaled river fish but is located around PNG, South Asia and Northern Australia. The name was given because of its attribute of fighting. A fighting fish. Cricket PNG has always been renowned for its fighting spirit hence the name PNG Barras.

How do you define success?

Success I would say is accomplishing a certain objective or goal. No matter how long it takes, the obstacles that you overcome to reach that goal and the journey that you take with all the mistakes and learning is what makes the accomplishment more satisfying. When you go through all the hardship and succeed, that is what life is all about.


Thanks for the fantastic answers C.J looking forward to seeing the Barras make history at the World Cup from the Good luck to you and the lads.