• Jamal Vira (VASANOC)

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Cricket Teams Announced for Pacific Games

The Vanuatu Cricket Association is pleased to announce their Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Men’s and Women’s Cricket teams for the Pacific Games.

Vanuatu Cricket has selected 14 men and 13 women to represent Vanuatu in the discipline which is set to happen on the first week of the Games from the 8th to the 13th of July.

Both national teams are undergoing their final preparations for the games with the men’s preparing to defend their gold medal and the women have come off the back of a successful tournament in early May to continue preparing for their second Pacific Games appearance.

Peter Buchanan, VCA’s high performance manager, expressed the importance of sending both National teams to the Pacific Games stating the importance of providing equal opportunities for all Vanuatu Cricket athletes.

“Both teams have worked extremely hard to earn their spot at the Pacific Games and it is important that the VCA provides equal opportunities for both teams to participate, gain experience and represent their country. It is my role to make sure that both teams get equal support to fulfil their potential.

“We (VCA) take pride in all our athletes and we are confident with our teams for the Pacific Games and we are proud to announce the teams,” he said.

The National Men’s team reads as follows:

Andrew Mansale (Captain), Clement Tommy, Gilmour Kaltongga, Jamal Vira, Jelany Chilia, Joshua Rasu, Kalo Shem, Nalin Nipiko, Ronald Tari, Simpson Obed, Wesley Viraliliu, Williamsing Nalisa, Patrick Matautaava and Darren Wotu.

Callum Blake and Jonathon Dunn are both not in the mix for this Pacific Games due to other commitments giving Darren Wotu an opportunity to make his debut in the team while the return of Patrick Matautaava from New Zealand has put him back in the team selection.

“Patrick Matautaava returning to the team is a big plus for our Gold medal defence as he is one of our stronger players and a complete all-rounder.

“The men’s team are known to be slow starters but if we start well and gain some confidence early in the tournament then we have the potential to defend our Gold medal,” said Buchanan.

In the National Women’s team, Shania Kenni, Marcelina Mete and Valentina Tari, three players who played during the Women’s World Cup qualifiers in May, have missed out on selection while Leimauri Chilia and Merielle Kenni have been recalled into the team for the Pacific Games.

Eddie Mansale, National women’s head coach said, “My expectations for the team are high because I know what their potentials are and I am looking forward to the team playing in Samoa.

“I am very happy with the way our preparations are going and the girls look strong. We are currently lacking a bit of fitness but we are working on it with our strength and conditioning coach and we will be ready for the Pacific Games,” Mansale said.

“For the women’s team, I believe we are just starting to get our team balance right and if our better players do well with the support of our emerging young players then we will be right amongst the medals,” concluded Buchanan, VCA’s high performance manager.

The National Women’s team reads as follows:

Selina Solman, Valenta Langiatu, Rachel Andrew, Leimauri Chilia, Leimara Tastuki, Alvina Chilia, Nasimana Navaika, Melissa Velvel Fare, Mahina Tarimiala, Maiylisse Carlot, Christelle Sokomanu, Vicky Mansale and Merielle Kenni.

Traveling with the team are Brett Wright, Vanuatu Cricket’s team manager and strength & conditioning coach and Jack Terry who will be the teams’ physio at the Games.

Participating at this Pacific Games would not have been possible for Vanuatu Cricket’s national teams without the support of the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu who are the naming rights sponsor for the teams.

The VCA would also like to acknowledge the wonderful support from everyone towards the fundraising efforts to send the National Women’s team to the Games. Their participation at the Games is made possible through the generous donations and support we have received from organizations, businesses, the government, general public and individuals.

Source: Vanuatu Cricket Association

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