The Vanuatu Cricket Association (VCA) has selected the National Men’s cricket team to compete in the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 competition in Malaysia from April 29 to May 6.
This is the first time Vanuatu have qualified for Division 4 after finishing runner up in Division 5 in South Africa last year. The team is ranked 30th in the world and are hoping to improve on that ranking and compete well in the competition.
Coach Shane Deitz said that the team has prepared better than ever and are excited about the tournament.
“We have had 7 players playing at a high level in Australia and the boys here in Vanuatu have been totally professional and worked harder than ever,” said Deitz
“The measure of how strong our squad is by the quality of the players that didn’t get selected. The depth in Vanuatu is very good and all 22 players in the squad were close to being selected. We are the lowest ranked team in the tournament which we see as an advantage as we have little to no pressure on us and we can play with freedom.”
“We as always want to entertain the people who will be watching us play and play the Vanuatu way. We will represent the country with pride and can’t wait to fly the flag in Malaysia for the country,” concluded Deitz
The squad will be captained by Andrew Mansale who is coming off a highly successful season in Premier First Grade in Adelaide.
The squad is Andrew Mansale (captain), Jonathon Dunn (Vice-captain), Callum Blake, Jelany Chilia, Shane Deitz, Wolford Kalworai, Trevor Langa, Patrick Matautaava, Williamsing Nalisa, Nalin Nipiko, Simpson Obed, Josh Rasu, Apollinaire Stephen, Ronald Tari and Wesley Viraliliu.
“The team welcomes back Apollinaire Stephen and Simpson Obed who are very experienced players after missing the division 5 tournament,” commented VCA President, Mark Stafford.
“Coach Shane Deitz has also now qualified to represent Vanuatu through the new ICC rules and has committed 100% to the training program and it is a bonus to have someone of his experience be available to the team.
“Shane played in all the practice matches and squad trial games and was the leading run scorer so the selectors had no hesitation in picking him as part of the squad.
“It is unique to have a player/coach but we have gone through the right processes and Shane has ticked all the boxes required and he is very excited to be part of the squad. He has the respect of the players and we know there will be no issues with Shane having a dual role in Malaysia.”
The team departs Vanuatu on the 14th of April and will embark in a 2 week training camp and practice matches in Malaysia before the first game against Jersey on the 29th of April.
The other teams they will compete against are hosts Malaysia, Denmark, Uganda and Bermuda.