The Vanuatu Cricket Association today announced the 15 players selected to represent the nation in the historic ICC Men's T20 World Cup East Asia Pacific Regional Final to be held in Papua New Guinea with matches played from 22-29 July. This momentous event marks a significant milestone for Vanuatu cricket as they strive to secure a spot in the 20-team T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in the West Indies and the USA next July, which will be a first for an senior Vanuatu sports team.
After winning the sub-regional qualifier hosted in Port Vila last September defeating Cook Islands, Fiji and Samoa, the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Men's Cricket Team will compete in the regional final which will be a double round robin event played against Japan, Philippines and hosts PNG. The winner of the tournament will be rewarded with direct qualification to the Men’s T20 World Cup – the new format promising guaranteed matches against some of the best teams in world cricket with competing nations divided into four groups of five.
Notably, the squad is strengthened by the return of four key players: Patrick Matautaava, Andrew Mansale, Apolinaire Stephen, and Junior Kaltapau. These players have been training in Australia alongside their seasonal work duties and arrived back in Vanuatu earlier this week to re-join the main squad prior to all flying out on Monday. This opportunity has been made possible through a ground-breaking partnership between the Vanuatu Cricket Association and seasonal work employer IComply.
ICOMPLY, through their CEO Rodney Prestia, has generously released and sponsored the players, in partnership with the VCA.
Rod Prestia, CEO of ICOMPLY, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, "We are thrilled to collaborate with the Vanuatu Cricket Association in supporting these talented athletes. At IComply, we believe that seasonal work and sporting dreams can coexist with the right support structure. We are proud to be part of this journey and are confident in the team's ability to make a significant impact in the EAP final."
Tim Cutler, VCA, expressed his gratitude, saying, "We extend our heartfelt appreciation to IComply for their support. Their partnership has allowed some of our key players to return and join the national team, further strengthening our chances in the EAP final. This means we have our best possible squad of selected for this event and we hope to make history as the first senior Vanuatu sports team to qualify for a world cup."
The Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Men's Cricket Team for the EAP Regional Final is:
Jarryd Allan Tusker Panthers
Junior Kaltapau Tusker Panthers
Andrew Mansale Splashe Mele Bulls
Patrick Matautaava (C) Splashe Mele Bulls
Williamsing Nalisa Tafea CC
Nalin Nipiko Ifira Blackbirds
Simpson Obed Mighty Saints CC
Joshua Rasu Tusker Panthers
Apolinaire Stephen Paama Sharks
Ronald Tari (VC) North Efate Bushpigs
Clement Tommy Tafea CC
Jamal Vira Paama Sharks
Darren Wotu Tafea CC
Womejo Wotu Tafea CC
Obed Yosef Paama Sharks
Fixtures (Vanuatu Time):
Vanuatu vs PNG 2.30pm Sat 22 July
Vanuatu vs Japan 10.30am Sun 23 July
Vanuatu vs Philippines 10.30am Tue 25 July
Vanuatu vs PNG 10.30am Wed 26 July
Vanuatu vs Japan 10.30am Fri 28 July
Vanuatu vs Philippines 10.30am Sat 29 July
All matches will be streamed live and free on icc.tv. About Vanuatu Cricket Association:
The Vanuatu Cricket Association is the governing body for cricket in Vanuatu. Committed to promoting and developing the sport, the association aims to provide opportunities for players to showcase their skills at national and international levels.
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