SPORTS

Rika Was Player, Captain, Coach

Josefa Falani Rika was a talented athlete and was committed as a player and official for cricket in Fiji. Elder brother Collin delivered the eulogy at the Salvation Army church
08 Feb 2020 10:45
Rika Was Player, Captain, Coach
Casket of the late Josefa Rika at the Salvation Army Church in Suva on February 7, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Josefa Falani Rika was a talented athlete and was committed as a player and official for cricket in Fiji.

Elder brother Collin delivered the eulogy at the Salvation Army church in Suva during the farewell service yesterday.

The 32-year-old from Makadru, Matuku in Lau died on Monday after a short illness.

Collin described him as a mature and passionate man who cared for his family as much as he loved the sport.

“Joe started playing cricket at a very young age since his two older brothers played cricket all the time,” he said.

“As soon as he became the national captain, I could see that he was more maturated and developed quickly not only in cricket, but in life too.

“He was always the responsible one in the family and he was the one always gathering all our family members together and making sure we meet often.”

His passion for cricket was evident after he coached the Fijian team that qualified for the Under-19 World Cup in 2015.

“We are all sad and our family members are shocked because he has gone at a very young age. But he has achieved so much,” Collin added.

Rika is survived by his wife Natasha, his adopted son, Abo and his daughters Lagi and Luisa.

Rika was laid to rest at the Nasinu cemetery yesterday.

Pallbearers carrying the late Josefa Rika into the Salvation Army Church in Suva on February 7, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Pallbearers carrying the late Josefa Rika into the Salvation Army Church in Suva on February 7, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

HISTORY

Rika made his debut for the Fijian national side in June 2006.

Beginning of 2010, he has captained the side in several international tournaments, and also worked for Cricket Fiji in coaching and development roles.

Educated at Lelean Memorial School in Davuilevu, Rika made his debut for the Fijian under-19 team at the 2001 EAP Under-19 Trophy, at 13-years-old.

Having served as a development manager with Cricket Fiji since 2010, Rika further involved himself in development roles, going on to coach the Fijian under-19 side at the 2013 EAP Under-19 Trophy.

However, in June 2014 he announced that he would come out of retirement and continue playing for Fiji in international tournaments, alongside his development work.

Rika captained Fiji at the 2014 EAP Twenty20 Championship and has also been appointed for the 2015 WCL Division Six tournament in England.

Josefa Rika.

Josefa Rika.

Edited by Osea Bola

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