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Trophy named after cricket legend

By NATHAN WOTI   |   SportsTok Magazine | Issue #89   JANUARY 2021    

Honoring those iconic figures, whose careers had transcended beyond just representing their country, but also inspiring the next generation of athletes, is something special.
We rarely see trophies being named after a sports legend or icon. Most of the time its’ either a company, or a politician’s name on the trophy or a competition as naming rights owners. For instance, most of our former players and sports icons like Martin Beni (Boxing), Marcus Bai (rugby league), Ryan Pini (Swimming), to name a few, have never had such recognition yet, and they should.  
However, when sports’ icons do get recognized by having a trophy named after them for their achievements, it only goes to show their impact and legacy in that particular sport.
A local cricket competition hosted by the Costas Cricket Club, named it’s’ trophy after former Barramundis captain and PNG cricket legend in late Bryan Amini.
The name Amini is synonym to cricket in PNG with Chris Amini and Charles Jordan Amini Jnr, who are currently part of the national team, Barramundis, and formerly their father Charles Amini Snr before them. All carrying on from late Bryan Amini, an icon in the cricket community in PNG and a former Barramundis captain. The Amini family have contributed so much to the game of cricket and have helped the national side to win in many occasions. And it was seen only fitting for the competition to name the trophy after the cricket legend Bryan Amini.  
The 12 weeks competition (Nov-Jan 2021) consisted of 10 teams who played 8 normal rounds ended with a final two rounds before a winner was announced.  
The competition was organized and hosted by the Costas Cricket Club’s reserve grade teams after the Port Moresby Cricket Association (POMCA) cancelled the reserve grade competition due to Covid19.
Charles Amini, the son of former Barramundis legend and skipper Bryan Amini said that he understood that to host a cricket competition he would need cricket pitches. Amini asked few of his friends and two clubs in Tubusereia and Kilakila agreed to lend their pitch to host matches.
“I spoke to few friends at Tubusereia, Makali and his team, and they said they can provide Tubusereia Oval and register two teams. And speaking to my friends at Kilakila, they said they can give Kilakila Oval and give two teams as well”.
“So that is how we managed to successfully host and complete the games”, Amini said.
When asked why they named the trophy ‘Kupana Rigo Cup’? He said the trophy was named after his late father Bryan Amini.
“My father’s middle name is Kupana Rigo, because his mother is from Karlo [Central Province]. He was the first indigenous PNG Captain to captain the PNG Barras against Fiji in 1977. When Coasters [cricket club] was formed late Bryan was the first patron and that’s why the Cup is named after him”, Charles Amini, son of late Bryan said.
The competition ended with the Kauka cricket team from Kilakila who took home the inaugural Kupana Rigo trophy.  
Amini said the competition would not be possible without all the teams’ support. He said they all chipped in with some money to help fund the competition.
“Lions, Konepoti, Costas, Kempa, and Karis, while Kilakila and Tubusereia provided the venues, so everybody contributed in cash or kind to make this competition possible and I also would like to thank the empires for making the competition looking professional throughout the 12 weeks”, he said.
A total of seven awards were given away after the competition ended to those who ‘stood out’ throughout the season.
“There were many remarkable performance throughout the season, but we have two awards for the best bowler and the highest scorer”, said Amini.
Highest scorer was awarded to Hoge Henao (118 runs in a signle match and total of 361 runs throughout the tournament), while the best wicket taker with 7 wickets from just 32 runs in a single match was presented to Ore from Vevala. Best batting average throughout the comp was given to Chris Amini (average 42 runs per game) and most wickets awarded to Tuwan Mohomad (24 wickets).
For Costas Cricket Club to honor a cricket legend late Bryan Amini, is probably one of the most remarkable story in sports that took place during the pandemic period.

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