CELEBRATING their promotion to the World Cricket League (WCL) Division 4 in South Africa, the Vanuatu Cricket League has been welcomed home with a parade through Port Vila.
The team was honoured by fans, families and friends and the public for their great performance during the intense competition in South Africa.
Patrick Matautaava, the best performed player during the games said he is very proud of their performance in South Africa.
“I was confident that we would beat Italy in the semi-final,” he said.
“Thanks to the boys for their great support in the field. Without them, we could not make it through to division 4.”
“I am very happy and proud of wearing the colours of Vanuatu in South Africa.
“Our journey starts now from division 4 to get to division 3. From today we have to train hard and wear our shirts with bright. We have to play hard and not to give chances to other teams,” Mr Matautaava said.
Andrew Mansale, the Vanuatu Cricket Team Captain, thanked the support of everyone who have supported the team in anyways.
“We are happy and proud to represent Vanuatu,” he said.
“When we entered the tournament our aim was to try our best to enter division 4. This was our main objective for the competition.
“There were four teams in one pool. We lost two first games but our thoughts and belief was to be resilient.
“We never gave up, we worked out how much we needed to come back inside. And through the resilience of each player and the coach we pull back inside against Germany and we reached the Semi-finals putting out Italy. When we entered the final we tried all our best to make sure we come back with the trophy.
“But we lost it; however, the most important thing we have achieved was being promoted to division 4,” he said.
Vanuatu Cricket President, Mark Stafford, said this has been a fantastic improvement since 2001.
“Vanuatu in the past has been at the 65 and 66 ranking but today we are in the top 20.
“The Vanuatu Cricket team is the hardest working sports team in Vanuatu,” he said.
The Minister of Youth and Sport, Simon Seule said: “This is a big achievement for the country to fly our flag in an international stage.”
“We have to support a winning team.”