Cooks ready for cricket battles in Japan

Wednesday May 07, 2014 Written by Published in Cricket
The national Cook Islands women’s cricket team at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Pepsi ICC East Asia-Pacific Women’s Trophy in Japan yesterday. The team takes on Samoa today in their opening match. 14050613 The national Cook Islands women’s cricket team at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Pepsi ICC East Asia-Pacific Women’s Trophy in Japan yesterday. The team takes on Samoa today in their opening match. 14050613

The Cook Islands, PNG, Samoa, and Vanuatu have joined host nation Japan in Sano ahead of the 2014 Pepsi ICC East Asia-Pacific Women’s Trophy that begins today.

The winner of the event will compete at next year’s ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier, which will determine the final spots at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 India 2016.

Also attending the event is Cricket Without Borders (CWOB).

CWOB is an organisation that aims to promote and develop the game of cricket for young women in the spirit of sportsmanship, friendship, cultural diversity and fun.

The CWOB team is an invitational side made up from young girls around Victoria, Australia and will play friendly matches against all five competing nations.

The six teams had their final training sessions at the Sano cricket grounds yesterday before the competition kicks off today.

Team Vanuatu coach Chris Moran echoed the feelings of all of the touring nations when he said “It’s a lot colder than home.”

A cohesive looking Cook Islands team also looks sharp in their preparation for tomorrow’s first game.

Captain June George is keen for success at this tournament in an effort to promote the game for girls in her home nation.

“Good on-field Cook Islands performances in Japan will inspire more young girls and boys to take to cricket which in turn will lead to stronger future Cook Islands sides,” said George.

A fitter team Samoa also wants to impress as they make their third EAP trophy appearance.

Team PNG is a mixture of experience and new talent.

“The young girls have brought in good energy into the team and it has rubbed on to the older girls,” said PNG captain Pauke Siaka.

Host nation Japan looked the same skilful and disciplined side at training today that has won them the previous two EAP trophies, and they are confident of remaining at the top.

“We believe that if we stay disciplined and play to our potential, we can win for a third straight time”, said team Japan captain Shizuka Miyaji.

The Tournament Director of the 2014 ICC EAP Women’s Trophy Laura Piekarski welcomed teams at the Opening Ceremony, highlighting the opportunities this event brings for women in cricket.

“I want to highlight what a fantastic celebration this tournament is of women in cricket across the East Asia-Pacific region. As well as our female players we have several women coaches, administrators, board members and umpires here at the tournament. Seeing everyone together like this shows why we have achieved 45% female involvement across our region,” said Piekarski.  

Matches begin today with six games played each day.

All games will be played at Tanuma High School and the Sano Cricket Ground.

The first rounds feature Samoa vs Cook Islands, Vanuatu vs PNG, and Japan vs CWOB

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