Papua New Guinea (PNG) women’s cricket team all-rounder Kaia Arua, passed away on Thursday, April 04 at Port Moresby General Hospital at the age of 33. The left-arm spinner donned the national colours for the first time at the East Asia-Pacific Trophy back in 2010 in a game against Japan in Sano. Following her debut, she became an integral part of the team and represented PNG in various East-Asia Pacific pathway events and Pacific Games cricket.

She was further named in the squad for the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier. PNG CEO Richard Done expressed his condolences on the sudden demise of the talented cricketer and lauded her achievements on the cricket pitch.

“We are very sad to announce to you that our current player and most recent Lewas captain, Kaia Arua, passed away at Port Moresby General Hospital at midday today. Our sincere condolences and love go to her family, including Coach John Ovia and Lucy Ovia, who have both been long-serving staff here at Cricket PNG,” Cricket PNG CEO Richard Done said in a statement.

“Kaia had a remarkable playing career with the Lewas and at the right time, we will be recognising that contribution. We wish to respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time, and we will release more details as approved by her family. In memory of Kaia Arua,” he added.

Arua first took the leadership role of PNG against Ireland at the 2018 T20 World Cup Qualifier, the same year she was also named in the ICC Women’s Global Development squad. The right-handed batter took the full-time leadership role at the 2019 East Asia-Pacific T20 World Cup Qualifier where she led her side to a tournament victory.

Arua picked 59 wickets in her T20I career

The victory also helped them qualify for the 2019 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier and the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournaments. Arua led Papua New Guinea in 39 T20Is with official status and won 29 out of those. She had 59 wickets to her name in T20Is, the most for her country, from 47 matches at an average of 10.20 and an economy of 4.20 with two five-wicket hauls. Her best figures of 5/7 against Japan are the second-best in her nation’s T20I history.

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