Underdogs Vanuatu up for the challenge

The Vanuatu women’s cricket team are using their fourth place finish at the 2015 Pacific Games as motivation for the upcoming 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 – East Asia-Pacific Qualifier 2017.

Very much the underdogs, Vanuatu will enter the tournament having never beaten any of the other teams and hoping to cause some upsets.

The team has been training hard for most of the year, moving from strength to strength with the growth and development of Vanuatu’s high performance department.

It has progressed from having just one member, Shane Deitz as High Performance Manager and National Coach, to four staff including their first ever full time National Women’s Coach, Eddie Mansale.

Deitz is very much looking forward to the qualifier believing that it is good to give the girls overseas exposure.

 “They bring back a plethora of experience that will help to inspire the next generation of women’s cricket in Vanuatu,” he said.

New coach Mansale is relishing the role as ‘with the girls, they work really hard and still want to learn’.

There are several new faces for Vanuatu including Merial Kenni and Melissa Velvel Fare, both impressing and exciting selectors.

Returning to lead the side is Selina Solman, who has represented the East Asia-Pacific at the Australian Country Cricket Championships for the past two years.

Solman was a crucial player for the team, helping to secure victories at the past two tournaments.

She believes this qualifier is important as her team ‘get another opportunity to show the opposing line-ups what we are capable of and demonstrate what we have been practicing this whole time’.

The 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 – East Asia-Pacific Qualifier 2017 begins in Sano, Japan on April 28 and will feature teams from Japan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu.

The top team will qualify for the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier to be held in either late 2017 or early 2018.