The Papua New Guinea cricket board has suspended 10 of its Under-19 players for a year for bringing the game into disrepute. The sanction is in relation to their conduct in Japan, where they were favourites to win a qualifying tournament for the Under-19 World Cup in 2020; however, 10 players missed a crucial game against Japan and the team had to forfeit the game because they didn't have enough players to field an XI.
Cricket PNG chief executive Greg Campbell said: "The behaviour of our players is not what we would expect from international cricketers of any age. The players have expressed sincere regret at their actions and in addition to their suspension from cricket, they will undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation programme over the next 12 months."
ICC General Counsel and COO Iain Higgins added: "This has been a highly unusual incident by a group of young players and I would like to thank Cricket PNG for acting swiftly and decisively. It sends out a clear message that the sport will not tolerate this sort of behaviour at ICC events.
"We are obviously extremely disappointed with the behavior of the players, but we are satisfied that Cricket PNG has delivered a suitable and proportionate sanction and programme for rehabilitation. Therefore, the ICC will not take any further action against any of the players."
In addition to being suspended, the 10 players will take part in 60 hours of community service and also attend a counselling programme.