Vanuatu Cricket celebrates ‘home grown’ players

VANUATU has witnessed a great deal of success from the Vanuatu National Men’s Cricket Team over the past years and very recently in South Africa where the team was promoted into WCL Div 4.

This is a tremendous result for a country with just over 250,000 people.

The Vanuatu National Men’s Cricket Team is an outstanding team filled with ‘home grown’ players who have developed as young individuals and cricketers in Vanuatu and for Vanuatu Cricket.

Moreover they compete with countries with a larger population compared to that of Vanuatu and, as a result, a larger choice of athletes.

Team Vanuatu is a very young team with the oldest player being 27 and the youngest being 17.

The skills and talent possessed by the players in the team is outstanding and well beyond their years.

Growing up together in Vanuatu and playing cricket since they were primary school children, most of these players share a special bond. They look out for each other, celebrate individual successes in the team and help develop each other cricket-wise and as individuals.

A good number of the players in the team have been playing together in the national U19s team of Vanuatu before successfully making it into the national senior squad.

Patrick Matautaava - Player of the tournament in South Africa.
Patrick Matautaava – Player of the tournament in South Africa.

Under the leadership of Vanuatu’s very own Andrew Mansale, the team has had many successes: winning Gold in the South Pacific Games in 2015, being undefeated in Bendigo this year putting them back in WCL Div 5 and achieving their ultimate goal in South Africa last week – getting promoted in WCL Div 4 and winning Silver.

Though a small island nation, Vanuatu delivers excellent talent and Patrick Matautaava keeps proving this day in and day out, picking up two Player of the Match Trophies and the Player of the Tournament Trophy in South Africa.

All the successes of the team came with plenty of challenges, but together as a team of young people which understand each other, work and perform well together and are aware of the cultural aspects of being a young Ni-Vanuatu, they have always managed to overcome these challenges and are heading towards even greater achievements.

It is the intention of Vanuatu Cricket to keep developing local talent to feed all our national squads so they can continue representing Vanuatu with a sense of pride and achievement that will also grow them into well rounded individuals.

In order to keep building a strong local team Vanuatu Cricket is looking for avenues to support players through jobs and work experience. However, funding through VCA is limited and cricket is still developing.

Ongoing support from sponsors and our Government is crucial to enable players to continuously improve their skills and keep taking Vanuatu on the world stage.

Please support us – and let’s start by joining Vanuatu Cricket on Wednesday to welcome home the national team at the Bauerfield international airport.

However, as the team will be arriving late at night, Vanuatu Cricket will organize a ‘welcome home’ reception on Thursday at Independence Park and everyone is invited to join the Vanuatu Cricket family to show our appreciation and support for the national team. More details will be provided in the next couple of days.