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Letter from the CEO: Australian Indigenous Tour a success on and off the field

The Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Men's National Cricket Team with the Australian Indigenous Men's Side after the final match on Tuesday 9 May 2023

Dear supporters, sponsors, partners, and friends of Vanuatu Cricket,

I am writing this to you to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for the recent tour of the Australian men’s and women’s indigenous national cricket teams to Vanuatu. It was a fantastic event that showcased the importance of sport and the values it instils across cultures and communities.

Speaking as the CEO of the Vanuatu Cricket Association, I am so very proud to have hosted such an important event in our country. The tour was made possible by the support of many critical partners, including Cricket Australia, PacificAus Sports, the Australian High Commission in Vanuatu, the Vanuatu Tourism Office, the International Cricket Council and the Vanuatu Government. Without their unwavering support, this tour would simply not have happened. To all the staff and volunteers that worked tirelessly over the week, thank you so much!

Beyond those mentioned there were numerous other partners who played major roles; beyond VCA platinum sponsors Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu and Digicel, there was also valuable assistance from Trade & Farm, Vanuatu Brewing Limited and Vanuatu Beverage Limited.

Vanuatu fan (and Digicel Marketing Manager) Michele Wilson celebrate the Vanuatu men winning on Saturday 6 May 2023.

The tour was not only a great opportunity for our cricket players to gain valuable experience and exposure to international cricket, but it was also a significant milestone in the development of cricket and sport in Vanuatu. The tour highlighted the importance of team sports in developing life skills and bridging societal gaps, as well as forming bonds across nationalities and backgrounds.

The Australian men’s and women’s indigenous national cricket teams left a lasting impact on our cricket players, coaches, officials, and the wider cricket community in Vanuatu.

All tourists were a credit to their country and culture. The teams demonstrated a high level of skill, commitment, and sportsmanship throughout the tour. They also took the time to engage with our local community, sharing their knowledge and experiences with everyone they met in the community.

For the record, Australia claimed both trophies with the women clean sweeping 4-0 and the men just dropping the one game to Vanuatu to win 3-1, with Aussie captain Hannah Darlington taking the player of series for the women and Tyran Liddiard award the men's trophy. Congratulations to all.

Left behind are a myriad a memories for our players and fans, as well as hundreds of thousands of Vatu worth of donated gear including bats, balls and training equipment from Cricket Australia and the players and support staff who also donated some of their own belongings.

The Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Women's National Cricket Team with the Australian Indigenous Women's Side after the final match on Tuesday 9 May 2023

Cricket is not just a sport for us, but it is also a means to promote social development in our society. We are proud of the progress we have made together, and we know that we could not have achieved this without your support. Your contributions have been invaluable to us, and we hope that we can continue to work together to promote and develop cricket in Vanuatu.

It is my hope that this tour will inspire more young people in Vanuatu to take up cricket and pursue their dreams in sports - it was especially pleasing to see a hundred students from Port Vila International School enjoy the action on Monday afternoon.

This tour has strengthened the bond between the national cricket federations of Vanuatu and Australia and we hope this benefits participants from both countries as we work together more.

In conclusion, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all our partners, supporters, and sponsors for their invaluable support of this tour. Your support has made a significant contribution to the development of cricket and sport in Vanuatu. We look forward to continuing our partnership with you all in the future.

Yours in cricket,

Tim Cutler

CEO, Vanuatu Cricket Association

Australian Indigenous Men's Coach Jeff Cook (L) and VCA CEO Tim Cutler - also team mates at Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club 2002-06

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