The 2017 Cricket Fiji Easter Tournament is set to kick off on the 10th of April with nine teams from the Lau group set to battle it out for the country’s longest ever running domestic competition.
Defending champions Suva will once again field two teams with Nadi, Cricket Fiji Invitation and Brisbane Thunder completing the 16 team tournament.
Moce will lead the Lauan onslaught and after back to back victories in 2012 and 2013 the young squad will look to inspirational skipper, Maika Kamikamica to lead them back into winning ways.
Brisbane Thunder, formerly, Western Suburbs will be taking part in their fourth Easter Tournament and are focused on progressing further then their Semi Final exit it 2015.
Matt Dyson will once again lead the Brisbane outfit and after a busy 2016/17 season, they will be looking to finish off the season on a high with a win in Fiji.
The tournament will run for week with the finals set for Monday 17th April at Suva’s Albert Park at 2pm with Quarter Finals and Semi’s to be held on Saturday 15th.
Young Oneata fast bowler, Cakacaka Cokovaki has forced his way into the East Asia Pacific (EAP) Men’s side for the 2017 Australian Country Cricket Championship (ACCC) set to take place in Wollongong from the 3rd – 12th of January.
The 18 year old was a member of the national U19 side that recently took part in the 2016 U19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier in the year and finished in the top 5 wicket takers of the tournament as well as ending the tournament with the best bowling figures in the world event.
The EAP side is made up of the top players in the region and will be captained once again by Vanuatu National Captain, Andrew Mansale who is one of four players from Vanuatu in the side and nine from regional power house, PNG.
Current Acting National Coach, Joe Rika has been selected as Assistant Coach for the regional side for a second time after earlier been involved as a player in the 2009 and 2010 EAP sides and as assistant Coach in 2014. Rika is the only Fijian ever selected in a coaching capacity in the EAP Regional sides since its inception and after having recently return himself from the U19 World Cup as well, will be looking to make his mark as a coach after a long 15 year career in the national setup as a player.
“Job (Cakacaka) deserves his spot in the side, he’s worked really hard over the years and I’m happy to have been involved in his development for the last five years and to be recognized in the top 15 players in the region is a great achievement”, Rika explained.
The pair having been involved with the national men’s side currently preparing for the National sides next major international event scheduled to take place in Bendigo, Australia in February where the side will get another opportunity to reclaim a spot in the World Cricket Leagues in 2018.
“The squad has been in training for the last 4 weeks in Suva and the ACCC is perfect preparation for Job. We plan to depart in earlier February for a 2 week camp in Melbourne to help the boys get themselves familiar with the playing surfaces again and look forward to the event”, Rika continued.
The ACCC begins on the 3rd with the EAP team taking on Queensland followed by South Australia on the 4th and Western Australia and Victoria on the 5th of January and finishing off with New South Wales.
The pair depart Fiji on the 1st of January.
With exactly two weeks remaining before the start of the 2017 World Cricket League – EAP tournament in Bendigo, Australia. Cricket Fiji have released the names of the 14 member squad to take part in the qualifying event.
Making a comeback to the national side after 4 years is experienced middle order batsman, Josefa Dabea who is expected to bring much experience to the middle order to assist in the development of the young players in the group.
The squad will be co-captained by season campaigners, Jikoivanualevu Kida and Sekove Ravoka and will be assisted by Illawarra based Maciu Gauna who comes off a man of the match performance for his Balgownie Cricket Club side in the final of the Illawarra Cricket T20 First Grade Final.
Making their debuts in the senior side are 2016 U19 World Cup representatives, Peni Volavola, Josaia Baleicikobia and Cakacaka Cokovaki as well as former U19 rep and Lakeba Wicket Keeper/Batsman, Cakacaka Veretaki after solid performances for his Lakeba side in the recent National Championships in Suva.
The squad departs Fiji today for a 2 week pre-tour camp in Melbourne before playing their first match against the Phillipines on the 19th of February.
Jikoivanualevu Kida (Co-captain), Sekove Ravoka (Co-captain), Maciua Gauna, Viliame Yabaki, Imran Khan, Viliame Manakitoga, Seru Makutu Tupou, Josefa Dabea Baleicicia, Riyad Khan, Josaia Baleicikobia, Peni Volavola Vuniwaqa, Vilikesa Nailolo, Cakacaka Cokovaki, Cakacaka Veretaki
Saimoni Tuitoga, Tuwai Yabaki, Taione Lesumai-igiladi, Peni Dakainivanua Junior
The Cricket Fiji National Championships is set to begin on the 25th of this month with 15 teams from around the country and a touring Sydney All Stars XI set to battle it out in the inaugural event in Suva.
Cricket Fiji High Performance Manager, Joe Rika was looking forward and quick to mention the efforts put in by the participating teams from the Lau group.
“It’s great to have our Lau teams participating after what they endured out in the islands following Cyclone Winston”, Rika said.
“We’ve got 9 teams travelling in from Lau and the efforts shown by each of them demonstrates the significance of cricket in the Lau group”.
With just under 2 weeks to go before the first ball is bowled, teams have slowly arrived into the capital city with their eyes set on over throwing defending Easter champions, Suva Warriors who are set to field another strong side this month.
The tournament will be the first in the Cricket Fiji calendar after the customary Easter Tournament having earlier been cancelled due to Cyclone Winston.
“Winston affected majority of our programs but it’s great that we get this opportunity to allow our members valuable game time before the start of the 2016/17 domestic season”, Rika continued.
The Tournament will begin on the 25th of this month with the final set for Monday the 31st of October in Suva.