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Cricket On Up: RIKA

  The Cricket Fiji national men’s extended squad have been reduced to 23 for the upcoming East Asia Pacific Men’s competition in Bendigo, Melbourne next year. These 23 players will
05 Nov 2016 13:20
Cricket On Up: RIKA
Lakeba Cricket Team during the Cricket Fiji sanctioned National Men's Cricket Championship at Albert Park.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

 

The Cricket Fiji national men’s extended squad have been reduced to 23 for the upcoming East Asia Pacific Men’s competition in Bendigo, Melbourne next year.

These 23 players will need to prove their worth over the next seven weeks as the squad will be further reduced to 18 in December.

Cricket Fiji development officer Joe Rika said though it was a tough decision to cut the squad down from 34 to 23, the future looks bright for cricket.

“It was really difficult to narrow the squad done but one that was necessary,” Rika said.

“The fact that it was hard to cut the squad down is a good sign because it means that we have a good set of boys.

“We have a very young side which is a positive start for us and these youths are capable of competing at the national level.

“I think one of the issues we have currently with the squad is that most of the players are from the islands.

“That restricts the time that we spend together because we know they love being back in the islands because that is just something that we have to work with.

“We just need to make sure they continue to play cricket.”

The squad will be reduced to 18 on December 23 and the players travel to Australia on February 5 where the team will play a pre-tournament in Australia against Vanuatu, Samoa, Phillipines, Japan and Cook Islands before leaving for Bendigo.

The 11 players who did not make the extended 23-member squad will go into high performance squads said Rika.

“The players that we have are ones that we want to keep and build up for the next three to four years,” he said.

“We will work with them and they will act as a feed into the national squad where we will use them if we have an injury or discipline issue in the main team.”

The 23-member squad is: Jikoivanualevu Kida, Sekove Ravoka, Iliesa Navatu, Josefa Dabea, Viliame Manakitoga, Jone Wesele, Colin Rika, Cakacaka Cokovaki, Josaia Baleicikoibia, Peni Volavola, Cakacaka Veretaki, Eriki Biudole, Tadulala Veitacini,Peni Dakai, Saimoni Tuitoga, Riyad Khan, Tukana Tavo, Vilikesa Driu, Viliame Yabaki, Seru Makutu, Taione Batina, Imran Khan (USA), Maciu Gauna (Australia) and Aisea Ravula.

The Under-19 cricket team who are preparing for the U19 World Cup Qualifiers in Samoa next year will also be joining the national team in camp.

Under-19 team is: Tabu (Ono I Lau), Tuwai Yabaki (Komo), Peniseni Koto (Namuka I Lau), Petero Cabebula (Oneata) and Waisele Vulivakarua (Ono I Lau).

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  Justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj



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