Vanuatu National Women Cricketers for EAP team: L-R: Leimauri Chilia, Selina Solman, Rachel Andrew, Judy Avok

Vanuatu Cricket has farewelled 12 of its national cricketers and two national head coaches this week as they head to Perth, Western Australia, to participate in the Toyota Australian Country Cricket Championship (ACCC).

The ACCC is an annual event which brings together some of the best cricket talents from different states in Australia and an EAP team made up of some of the best cricket talents from the East Asia-Pacific region.

This year, the competition is hosted in Geraldton, Perth, and cricket will be played in the T20 format in the women’s division and T20 and One Day format in the men’s division over the next ten days.

The team Vanuatu representatives consists of eight male cricketers and four female cricketers, who have been selected to play in the East-Asia Pacific (EAP) team along with national cricketers from PNG, and Samoa.

Vanuatu Cricket’s High Performance manager and National Head coach, Shane Deitz, will be assisting Cricket Fiji’s head coach, Joe Rika, who has been selected to be the head coach for the EAP men’s team while Vanuatu national women’s coach, Eddie Mansale, has been selected as the EAP women’s head coach.

The EAP men’s team captained by Patrick Matautaava from Vanuatu also has, Joshua Rasu, Wesley Viraliliu, Jelany Chilia, Trevor Langa, Ronald Tari, Nalin Nipiko, Williamsing Nalisa from Vanuatu and Sese Bau, Damien Ravu, Kipling Doriga, Nosiana Pokana, Hiri Hiri and Jason Kila from Papua New Guinea.

Vanuatu Cricket’s Selina Solman will lead the women’s EAP team and playing with her are, Judy Avok, Rachel Andrew, Lemauri Chilia (Vanuatu), Brenda Tau, Vicky Ara’a, Kaia Arua, Pauke Siaka, Konio Oala, Helen Buruka, Ravini Oa, Sibona Jimmy (PNG) and Filimaua Malotutoatasi from Samoa.

This competition will benefit both the men and women’s EAP team as Vanuatu National Men’s Cricket team will be heading to Malaysia to compete in the World Cricket League Division Four in April this year and the PNG national women’s team (PNG Lewa’s) as they prepare to compete in the Women’s World T20 Qualifiers in West Indies later this year.

The men’s EAP has since played their first two matches, defeating Queensland Country in the first round and losing to South Australia Country in the second round of the T20 game format on Friday the 5th of January.

They will then play New South Wales Country and Western Australia on Saturday the 6th of January and their final match in T20 format will be on the 7th against Victoria Country.

The women’s ACCC competition will kick off on Sunday the 7th of January and the women’s EAP team will take on South Australia Country in their opening match.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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