SPORTS

Fijians Plan For PNG

  The Fiji cricket team play their first game against Papua New Guinea in the 2017 International Cricket Council Under-19 East Asia Pacific World Cup Qualifier in Apia, Samoa tomorrow.
07 Aug 2017 12:23
Fijians Plan For PNG
The Fijian Under-19 cricket team training in Samoa on August 5, 2017. Photo: Joe Rika

 

The Fiji cricket team play their first game against Papua New Guinea in the 2017 International Cricket Council Under-19 East Asia Pacific World Cup Qualifier in Apia, Samoa tomorrow.

Fiji has only beaten PNG once back in 2015 in New Zealand and head coach Joe Rika said with the amount of resources PNG have compared to Fiji, it will be another David versus Goliath.

“Preparations have been going as planned. PNG is a strong side and have been preparing for a long time,” Rika said.

“But anything is possible, the scores begin at zero and it doesn’t really matter sometimes how much time and money you have to prepare.

“It all comes down to what you do on game day. I believe if we work hard and execute our individual plans I think we’re then capable of causing upsets.

“With a young bunch like ours and considering PNG’s financial capabilities it’s definitely going to be another David versus Goliath battle.”

Qualifying for the  World Cup means a lot to Fiji said Rika, after qualifying back in 2015 for the first time, they now have a second chance at qualifying again and putting out a better performance at the next World Cup in England in 2019.

Rika said they are trying to develop the players they have now not only for 2019 but for the future.

“Qualifying for the World Cup is very important and we do have a lot to defend which puts us under more scrutiny,” he said.

“But with the squad that qualified in 2015, we had them playing together for up to four years leading into that event.

“We’re trying to do the same with this group with seven players returning in 2019 for the next qualifiers and five of that seven players returning to play again in 2021.

“But don’t get me wrong, this squad may be young but they are more than capable of winning matches if they are focussed and mentally ready to gut out long periods with the bat.

“I just hope the people at home understand both sides of what we’re trying to achieve for cricket in Fiji now, and for the future.”

Fiji will take on PNG at 9am tomorrow in Samoa.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

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