Rika, Cokovaki For Oz Champs
Young Oneata fast bowler, Cakacaka Cokovaki has forced his way into the East Asia Pacific (EAP) Men’s side for the 2017 Australian Country Cricket Championship (ACCC) set to take place in Wollongong on January 3-12.
The 18-year-old was a member of the national U19 side that recently took part in the 2016 U19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier in the year and finished in the top 5 wicket takers of the tournament as well as ending the tournament with the best bowling figures in the world event.
The EAP side is made up of the top players in the region and will be captained once again by Vanuatu national captain, Andrew Mansale who is one of four players from Vanuatu in the side and nine from regional powerhouse, Papua New Guinea.
Acting national coach, Joe Rika has been selected as assistant coach for the regional side for a second time after earlier been involved as a player in the 2009 and 2010 EAP sides and as assistant Coach in 2014. Rika is the only Fijian ever selected in a coaching capacity in the EAP Regional sides since its inception and after having recently returned himself from the U19 World Cup as well, will be looking to make his mark as a coach after a long 15 year career in the national setup as a player.
“Job (Cakacaka) deserves his spot in the side, he’s worked really hard over the years and I’m happy to have been involved in his development for the last five years and to be recognised in the top 15 players in the region is a great achievement,” Rika explained.
“The squad has been in training for the last 4 weeks in Suva and the ACCC is perfect preparation for Job.
“We plan to depart in earlier February for a 2 week camp in Melbourne to help the boys get themselves familiar with the playing surfaces again and look forward to the event,” Rika continued.
The ACCC begins on the 3rd with the EAP team taking on Queensland followed by South Australia on the 4th and Western Australia and Victoria on the 5th of January and finishing off with New South Wales. The pair departs Fiji on January 1.
Source: Cricket Fiji