Jamie Brazier
Jamie Brazier

Jamie hits out

By STEVE SPINKS

HE'S lived in Australia and could be playing cricket for NSW Country; instead he's part of the East Asia Pacific team.

He's also the first batsman at the 2005 Australian Country Cricket Championships to score a century.

Papua New Guinea's Jamie Brazier, pictured, knows he's in a unique position.

He plays in a cricket team with a Pakistani left-handed batsman who is now a naturalised Japanese citizen (Munir Ahmad).

One of the best bowlers in his team is an off-spinner from Vanuata (Andrew Mansale); the fastest bowler in the team is an enthusiastic Cook Islander (Dunu Eliaba).

And don't forget the nine other Papua New Guineans in the team.

But it doesn't end there.

The 29-year-old pest controller was born in PNG to Australian parents. He lived there until he moved to Newcastle as a teenager.

Brazier returned to the country of his birth only in 2003.

While in Newcastle, the powerful right-hander played first grade for the Merewether club alongside NSW Country captain Simon Moore and fast bowler Duncan McIlveen.

He represented Newcastle, but was never selected for further honours with the Bush Blues.

But that didn't stop him from becoming a successful batsman at the ACCC.

Last year in Mt Gambier he made two centuries for EAP, while he added a third to his tally on Wednesday with 101 not out in East Asia Pacific's second innings against Western Australia in Casino.

Unfortunately, he missed out with the bat yesterday against NSW Country at Oakes Oval, Lismore, making seven before being bowled by Dubbo paceman Daniel Hughes.

"The team is definitely different," Brazier admitted.

"They come to any ground and think it's just another cricket wicket, and they play the same way no matter what the conditions.

"It's good fun.

"They are naturals but they haven't received the level of coaching players in Australia get."

According to Brazier, English is the language everyone has to speak and there is a fine jar if players revert to their native tongue.

But apparently a few swear words are being exchanged between the different cultures.

East Asia Pacific captain Rarua Dikana (37) made the top score against NSW Country yesterday in his team's total of 156.

Unfortunately for the visiting islanders, they became the second team to fall to the skill of Newcastle leg-spinner Ben Woolmer.

Woolmer followed on from his figures of 7-93 against Victoria on Tuesday with 6-49 yesterday.

The Charlestown all-rounder must be enjoying his first stint with the Bush Blues.

In reply, NSW Country were 0-24 when rain stopped play.



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