Defending champs to start with bye

Wednesday August 31, 2016 Written by Published in Cricket
Hori Miller in action for the Country in the 2016 Vaka of Origin series. Miller will play for Titikaveka in the 2016 domestic cricket season, which starts this Saturday. 16083015 Hori Miller in action for the Country in the 2016 Vaka of Origin series. Miller will play for Titikaveka in the 2016 domestic cricket season, which starts this Saturday. 16083015

THE COOK ISLANDS Cricket Association will begin its 2016 season on Saturday.

 

Nine clubs in the men’s division and seven in the women’s will be competing in the weekly league played in Twenty20 format.

Association chief executive officer Davis Teinaki said Arorangi pulled out of the competition due to lack of players in both their men’s and women’s teams.

He said this should not dampen the spirit of the competition as other teams were looking forward to the start of the season.

“I have been getting calls from the players who are enquiring about the start of the season. They can’t wait for it,” Teinaki said.

“Teams have already started training and there is excitement among the clubs and officials who are looking forward to the opening round of games this weekend.”

Defending men’s champions Turangi will host Avana in their opening match this Saturday, while Matavera will play Tupapa, Takuvaine faces Tupapa II and Nikao takes on Titikaveka in the other men’s matches.

Defending champions Muri, which was supposed to play Arorangi, is now on a bye.

In the women’s competition, Matavera will battle Nikao, Turangi faces Avana and Takuvaine will play Tupapa.

Turangi is the new addition in the women’s division.

Teinaki said they were expecting strong competition along the clubs in the opening round.

He said the successful Vaka of Origin series between Town and Country earlier in the year had set a good platform for 2016.

“It’s just the start of the season, but we will still see some skillful play from the competing teams.

“Teams will be out to start off strong and this will surely bring some exciting competition.

“There is a good mixture of young and experienced players in the clubs. Tupapa is fielding two teams in the men’s competition because they have a good player base.

“Their second team is a development side, which is being used as a feeder to the main team.”

The women’s matches will start at 12.30pm, followed by men’s at 3.15pm.

Meanwhile Teinaki is calling on club officials and supporters to attend their season opening meeting tomorrow at 5pm at Pukapuka Hostel.

The meeting will be held to finalise the draws.

Discussions on the Northern Maori women’s team tour of Rarotonga is also expected to take place during the meeting.

The Hamilton-based club will play the national women’s team and arrives in the country next week.

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