Vanuatu Cricket’s U17 girls and men’s club cricket competitions are kicking off this Saturday the 22nd of April.

The Under 17 competition is the first ever junior club tournament for girls at age group level.

The competition will host four clubs namely, Ifira Black Birds whose senior women’s side boast a host of young talent who will be looking to impress, Paama Sharks who will undoubtedly be underdogs with one of the youngest teams, Tafea Sandalwood who will be looking to grab a women’s trophy having missed out in the senior women’s competition and Mele Bulls who on paper will be the strongest and the toughest opponent.

The men’s Barret and Partners T20 championship will also commence this weekend with all existing eight teams looking to be this year’s champion.

Mighty Saints will begin the season as reigning champions having beaten Mele Bulls in last year’s final and the two will undoubtedly be favourites with former national player Lazaro Carlot and returning superstar Patrick Matautava both in the mix.

Tafea Sandalwood and Malapoa College will also be looking to continue their growth as two of the youngest teams in the league by making a statement in their first game. Ifira Black Birds and APT Dolphins are two of this seasons’ more experienced team with the likes of Nalin Nipiko and Joshua Rasu both returning from international duty and looking to excite fans with their skill set.

Finally, North Efate Bush Pigs and Paama Sharks who will come into the tournament as the most unpredictable of the teams in the eight with both having histories of surprising fans with big upsets yet at times having a tendency to flop.

Vanuatu Cricket also wishes to inform existing club players and interested members of the public especially girls that trainings are underway at Independence Park every Tuesdays and Fridays from 4:00pm until 5:30pm and club registration is still open to anyone who is interested to participate.

First games of the U17 girls’ tournament will be played at Independence Park and it will see Ifira Black Birds take on Paama Sharks at 8:30am and Mele Bulls will play Tafea Sandal Wood at 10:30am while on the men’s side APT Dolphins will take on Paama Sharks at the Vanuatu Cricket Ground at 9:00am.

The men’s afternoon games will see Mighty Saints Vs Tafea Sandalwood at the Vanuatu Cricket Grounds, North Efate Bush Pigs Vs Mele Bulls at Independence Park and Malapoa College Vs Ifira Black Birds at Club Hippique Adventure Park. All afternoon games will start at 1:00pm.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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