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Deliver For Our Nation says, President Konrote

The Fijian Under-19 Cricket team were told to do their best for Fiji by  President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote. This was after they presented their itatau (traditional farewell) at
05 Jan 2016 11:22
Deliver For Our Nation says,  President Konrote
President Jioji Konrote (middle) with the Cricket Fiji team at Government House during their I-Tatau to the president yesterday. pic.....RAMA

The Fijian Under-19 Cricket team were told to do their best for Fiji by  President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote.

This was after they presented their itatau (traditional farewell) at Government House yesterday.

The team will be taking part in the International Cricket Council (ICC) U19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh from January 22 to February 14.

Konrote said this was the first time Fiji was being represented at a Cricket World Cup and the team should focus on giving their best.

“We wish you all the very best and want you to try your very best in representing Fiji because this is the first time that you will be taking part in such an event,” he said.

“More importantly learn as much as you can because you will be playing against the best teams in the world.”

 

Punching above our weight

Qualifying for the event was a shock in itself when Fiji upset Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Samoa in the Pepsi ICC East Asia-Pacific Men’s Trophy in New Zealand in February last year.

This gave the team an automatic qualification to the World Cup and coach Joe Rika viewed their underdog status as an advantage.

“We basically have our backs against the wall and punching above our weight coming into this tournament and playing against top teams,” Rika said.

“But we think it will be a positive for us with other countries viewing us as underdogs and not expecting much from us.

“As long as we play positive cricket and learn as much as we can and grow, I think we can actually perform better and possibly secure a win.

“We were viewed as close to the last team to qualify for this World Cup when we took part in the Pepsi ICC East Asia-Pacific Men’s Trophy but we let our actions do the talking.”

It has taken nearly 100 years for Fiji to qualify and play in a World Cup event which Rika said was a major improvement for the sport.

“Words cannot really express how we feel about qualifying for such an event for the first time and this is just a reflection of the hard work put in by our boys.

“It taken nearly 100 years to get to this point and that just shows the effort by Cricket Fiji and development programmes to help lift the sport in the country.

The team leaves tomorrow for Australia where they will be playing warm-up matches on January 6-14.

Feedback:  justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

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