Cricket PNG appoint Joe Dawes as National Coach
Cricket PNG Media Release
A Queenslander who has taken 238 wickets in only 64 first class games, this man boasts of a CV that includes being appointed assistant coach to the Aussie Women’s cricket team and the bowling coach of India. He has unearthed gems in his coaching stints around the world and his current coaching stint with the Adelaide Strikers sees his team in the semifinals of the BBL. He is the head coach of our very own Hebou PNG Barramundis. Meet Joe Dawes, a journeyed, cultured cricket man and Queensland legend.
Had it not been for a serious knee injury in 2005, Dawes would have surely been the highest wicket taker in Queensland cricket history, given his impressive average of 3.7 wickets per match. He showed in those trying times though, when an athlete is faced with the daunting reality of ending his playing career, that cricket is something he could never leave. And it was his ability to handle such adversity and stick to his principles that propelled him to become the great coach he is.
“I fell in love with cricket when he was 7 years old and been in love with it ever since. I am one of those lucky people who is able to earn a living from doing what I love and that is the sport of cricket.”
The ever so humble Dawes, has worked with the Barras before, when he came to PNG for a stint as a consultant coach last year, overseeing the WCLC wins against Scotland that saw PNG qualify for the tournament in Zimbabwe. And when the chance came to return as the Head Coach, he just could not say no.
“Papua New Guinea is a fantastic challenge. To be able to help our neighbours in their bid to qualify for the Cricket World Cup in 2019 was an unbelievable opportunity that I could not give up.
I was very lucky to work with Jason Gillespie at the Strikers as well as when I had come down to work with him in Papua New Guinea. I also know Andy Bichel very well and basically, everyone who has been involved with Cricket PNG spoke of their time fondly. Dizzy and I have great memories of our time in PNG last year.
It will be a different challenge, the opportunity to run my own program was very exciting. Anyone who gets into coaching, wants to run their own program – it is the dream job to oversee the progress of a team and be in charge of a talented squad. Once I spoke to the CEO of Cricket PNG Greg Campbell and the opportunity became available, it was a no brainer to be given the privilege of coaching the Hebou PNG Barramundis. As a plus, Papua New Guinea isn’t far away from Brisbane so I will close to my family too.”
Despite the success against Scotland, the Barras have found it tough in the past to replicate the home results, away from home. There was a definite need of a holistic approach to the development of the cricketers and Dawes comes in to do just that.
“I was lucky enough to have that stint when we played Scotland and taking the boys to Dubai was good experience. It helped me identify some key areas of improvement that are needed immediately. Batting was off the mark in Dubai as well. Our batsman need to bat long and bat big. There’s also a big issue with spin and we need to bring in more local spinners.
To aid our batsmen tackle spin and our bowlers to take key wickets, Joe has already worked his contacts to bring in Aussie spinner Liam O’Connor to help the Barras.
Liam O’Connor will be in PNG next week to help the spinners as well as the batsmen, to improve their chances at the World Cup. He will also be traveling to Brisbane for the training camp. If we are able to develop our spinners and have a balanced attack while our Batsman lead the way from the front, we will be a daunting outfit for all the teams we face in Zimbabwe. Of course, once I have my feet under the desk, I will be able to do more. We will work step by step to achieve our goals.”
Being a fast bowler himself though, it was interesting to hear Joe’s thoughts about the fast bowling contingent available at the Barras.
“I am very impressed with the fast bowling group. Norman, Ali Nou, Chad, JB are a good group of fast bowlers with some genuine pace. Norman and Chad are great leaders and JB has time left but he can be a good coach in the system moving forward. It all points to some good leadership within the group of pacers. What happened to Nosaina Pokana is unfortunate and we will help him get back to where he belongs – at the top but there’s a good mix of exciting pacers here.”
Those aren’t the only fast bowlers to have made an impression on Joe though. Youngsters like James Tau and Sema Kamea were great to watch in New Zealand and they will be given a chance to compete for a spot with the Barras.
“Competition breeds success. I would like to take the best team with me to Zimbabwe and all the boys have to work hard to earn their spot. The two young fast bowlers impressed a lot of people. Ryan Harris who is the coach of the Australian team was very impressed with them. Simon Atai was good with the bat, showed some positive signs but there’s work to do yet for the kids. Young James is going to be involved in our pre-camp in Brisbane and with Nosaina ruled out, there is a chance to be grabbed for a seat in the team in Zimbabwe.”
Beyond the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, Joe has grand plans for the national set up. Having worked for many years at the National Cricket Centre in Queensland, improving the crop of cricketers at the grassroot level is something Joe knows a thing or few about.
“I obviously have a real passion for fast bowling. For a team to be successful, we need a big group of guys. I will work with the coaching team on ideas to develop fast bowlers down the line.
Had some good conversations with Greg about the structures in place there and we would want longer versions of the game being played a lot more regularly back home. We will try and get the seniors as many games as possible.”
Beyond that, anything I can do to gain experience for our boys at the Queensland Bulls Masters or through other contacts of mine in Australia will be great in developing them as a group.
All in all, I would like to thank the people and the team for the tremendous honour, for being a part of the PNG national team. I can guarantee you that I am extremely excited for working there and driving the Hebou PNG Barramundis as well as the City Pharmacy Lewas toward their goal of making the World Cup.
We can’t wait to see the outcome Joe’s transformation of the Hebou PNG Barramundis and can only hope they enjoy success at the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe, just like his current team, the Strikers have in the Big Bash League.