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OFW cricketers to power PHL national team in intl tournament

05 December 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao

Divas captain Josie Arimas will lead the Phl national team in its first international competition

Nine players of SCC Divas, the first ever Filipina cricket team outside the Philippines, will leave for Manila on Dec 19 to play for the National Team that will face Indonesia in a four-match T20 international in Cavite on Dec 21-22.

The Divas contingent, comprising Hong Kong-based domestic workers, will form the backbone of the country’s first cricket Women’s National Team that will be playing its maiden international match on Dec 21.
Divas captain Josie Arimas said in an interview on Dec 4 that the rest of the players in the National Team, which number no more than 14, were chosen from relatively young women’s cricket teams in the country.

As of this writing, the Philippine Cricket Association, which invited the Divas players to join the National Team, has not yet announced who will captain the country’s squad.
Other Divas stalwarts on the team are Jennifer Alumbro, Jonna Eguid, Romela Osabel, Cherry Octaviano, Christen Joy Lovino, Catherine Bagaoisan, Ma Luz Madia and Rosaly Pagarigan.

Arimas said these former softball, baseball and volleyball players are strong in both bowling and batting.
They are mostly pioneers of the Divas team that Arimas formed two years ago and captured the crown in their maiden appearance in Cricket Hong Kong’s Development League in the 2018 season.    

Formed only 2 years ago, Divas won its first major cricket match in HK, the Development League

Arimas said the Philippine National Team will be facing a big challenge because Indonesia is strong. She said the results of the competition will count in the cricket world rankings for women.

The Philippine and Indonesian teams will play two 20-over, or T20, matches on Dec 21 and another two on Dec 22. All four games will be played on the PCA cricket field in Dasmariñas, about 50 kilometers or 2 hours ride from Nino Aquino International Airport.  

“Underdog kami. Ang Indonesia ay pang-22 sa ICC T20 women’s rankings samantalang kami ay ngayon pa lang sasali,” said Arimas.

There are 55 countries in the roster of the International Cricket Council, cricket’s world governing body, with the Philippine men’s team occupying 20th place in the international T20 league.

Arimas said air tickets of some of the Divas players will be paid by their employers as the competition coincides with their annual vacation. But those who are flying to Manila just for the tournament will pay for their own tickets.

She said the Divas players on the National Team will no longer be able to play in Hong Kong’s Development League, a division for new teams or sides that need to improve their performance before rejoining the big league. 
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