The Vanuatu Cricket Association is pleased to announce the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Men’s team ahead of their first international tournaments of the year in Malaysia. The men’s team will travel to Malaysia in February for both the 2024 ICC CWC Challenge League and the Malaysia Open T20 Championship.
The 2024 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Challenge League playoff will run from late February until early March, with the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Men’s Cricket Team’s initial group matches being played on 22, 23, and 26 February at grounds around Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur. The crucial 50-over, List A event, is an eight-team tournament. The competing sides will be divided into two groups of four, with the top three after round-robin matches progressing to a “Super Six” with the best three of the other group. The top four will each win a place in the 2024-26 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Challenge League. Vanuatu will be in Group B with Bahrain, Malaysia, and Tanzania, while Group A has Bermuda, Italy, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
Following the event, Vanuatu will compete in the “Malaysia Open T20 Championship 2024;” a five-country T20 International tournament from 5-11 March, against Bahrain, Kuwait, Tanzania, and hosts Malaysia, before returning home.
Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Men’s Cricket Team Tour to Malaysia Feb-Mar 2024:
Joshua Rasu - Captain (Tusker Panthers)
Ronald Tari - Vice-Captain (North Efate)
Jarryd Allan (Tusker Panthers)
Tim Cutler (North Efate)
Junior Kaltapau (Tusker Panthers)
Andrew Mansale (Splashe Mele Bulls)
Patrick Matautaava (Splashe Mele Bulls)
Williamsing Nalisa (Tafea CC)
Nalin Nipiko (Ifira Blackbird)
Simpsons Obed (Might Saints CC)
Apolinaire Stephen (Paama Sharks)
Clement Tommy (Tafea CC)
Jamal Vira (Paama Sharks)
Darren Wotu (Tafea CC)
Womajo Wotu (Tafea CC - reserve / T20 series only)
Chris Laffan: Head Coach
Jeff Cook: Assistant Coach
Mark Stafford: Manager
The tour sees the appointment of senior all-rounder Joshua Rasu as captain and Ronald Tari as vice-captain. With footage of his catch against Samoa in the Men’s T20 World Cup Pacific Qualifier in 2022 gaining over two million views on Instagram alone, Rasu’s appointment comes after a sustained period of leadership on and off the field, including in his additional role as head coach of the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Women’s Cricket Team, guiding them to undefeated victory and the regional championship for the first time as they progress to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier to be played in Dubai in April and May this year.
On his appointment as captain Rasu said:
“I am truly honoured to be chosen as the team captain for this tour and would like to express my gratitude to my coaches and previous captains who have played a crucial role in guiding me to this point. My journey alongside these teammates has spanned years, and I've acquired valuable insights into the game, both on and off the field, which I believe will help elevate our performance. I am genuinely excited about embarking on this new chapter and taking on the challenges that lie ahead.”
Former captains Andrew Mansale and Patrick Matautaava, along with Junior Kaltapau and Apolinaire Stephen recently returned from seasonal work in Australia with VCA partner iComply, and along the way delivered some impressive performances during their stints in the topflight of Townsville cricket. They are joined in the squad by Nalin Nipiko and Clement Tommy, both of whom have been destructive forces in their teams alongside their work commitments and will join fast bowler Darren Wotu in meeting the squad directly from Australia, with Wotu and brother Womajo having played in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association for the last few months, representing Craigieburn CC, VCA High-Performance Manager Chris Laffan’s former club.
Laffan, now having been in the role for seven months, is hopeful of a strong performance in Malaysia after a strong preparation period:
“The players have done a mountain of both physical and mental work for what we believe will be similar conditions in Kuala Lumpur. This preparation coupled with those squad members abroad being able to play consistent cricket in Australia in the lead-up, has us ready to put together a consistent 50-over performance throughout the Challenge League.”
All match schedules, results, and updates regarding the two competitions can be found across all Vanuatu Cricket social media channels, as well as links to live-stream matches.