Cricket in Vanuatu received a huge boost recently with the sport being presented a large shipment of donated gear provided by longtime supporter Peter Duffy in Melbourne, as well as new cricket shoes for the senior national teams sponsored by New Balance.
Despite not playing internationally for over two years Vanuatu has been able to host most of its domestic competitions, development activities and outreach programs with relative success during the pandemic, managing with the stock available locally in gear.
At times Covid-19’s effects have meant though that shortages in gear have caused the sport to adapt to a new and different way of growing cricket in Vanuatu, often proving difficult. This however will hopefully change with some of our generous partners, sponsors and friends of the Vanuatu Cricket Association recently donating around 60,000 Australian Dollars’ worth of cricket equipment.
We are incredibly thankful to all our supporters and sponsors and in particular to one of the biggest friends Vanuatu Cricket has had in recent years in Mr Peter Duffy and to New Balance Australia & New Zealand.
Duffy has been instrumental in organising and shipping a host of donated and new gear from all around Australia to Vanuatu including 300 pairs of brand new Payntr cricket spikes and an incredible range of bats that he has collected and sent for free to national players and cricket in players in general to use
Furthermore, Mr Duffy has also been able to secure a wealth of gear for other sports with a range of specialised equipment to be donated to the respective disciplines.
Vanuatu Cricket has also been very fortunate to receive sponsorship from New Balance who have also provided us with 20 pairs of new cricket spikes to be handed out to both the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Men's and Women's teams for their upcoming international fixtures this year.
With the recent shipment of new gear the association has been able to provide its high performance players with some much needed new equipment, the development department with some new softballs and new items for outreach including pads, gloves, thigh pads and shoes which will boost development locally immensely.
"On behalf of the VCA, and the entire cricket family here in Vanuatu, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to both Peter Duffy and New Balance," said Vanuatu Cricket Association CEO Tim Cutler.
"To have a brand of New Balance's standing support our national players the way they have is very gratifying, and special thanks to both Alex Shepherd and Dean Howard there.
"And, honestly, nothing I can say will go any way to describe just how amazing an individual Peter Duffy is. From encouraging cricketers in Melbourne and beyond to donate their recently used gear, to creating new bats for our national players, to negotiating a donation of 300 pairs of shoes, accumulating over 900 kilograms of cargo to be sent in the most recent shipment, is simply amazing.
"Thank you so much, Peter. We all look forward to when the borders open again so that you can come enjoy seeing the gear you donated in action in person!"
With such a large international schedule coming up for the rest of 2022, beginning in July with the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Men's Cricket Team touring Canada for the World Cup Challenge League, the arrival of the equipment is a huge boost and is already a source of excitement and inspiration for the national players.
Additionally with the likes of Patrick Matautaava and Selina Solman currently plying their trade overseas in Dubai and Denmark respectively the new gear will hopefully also serve as further motivation for them and for the future of cricket in Vanuatu, given the success these two have had with some of this equipment already.
The Vanuatu Cricket Association would like to sincerely thank everyone involved in donating such a large amount of equipment to us and for providing support in such a tough period for the whole world. The generosity provided by supporters of cricket in Vanuatu through this has been immense and we hope that this support will continue in the future.