Initially scheduled to start this Saturday, the organisers of the annual series have delayed the start of the event for a week because of the threat of very wet weather conditions.
The opening leg of the series, which will be contested between the Sky Pacific Blues (Town) and the Varo Media Maroons (Country) men’s and women’s teams, will kick off on January 21 followed by the second one on January 28 and the final leg on February 4.
The matches will be played in Twenty20 format at Turangi Field.
The women’s matches will start at 10.30am for the first ball with the men’s to follow at 2.30pm.
Cook Islands Cricket Association with the sponsorship of 21South Group (the owner of both SKY Pacific Cook Islands and Varo Media) are hoping to maintain the enthusiasm of the domestic competition with an annual end of season tournament.
“While the first Vaka of Origin played in June of 2016 was a wonderful event, we felt the timing was a bit tricky,” Grant Walker, managing director of 21South Group, said.
“So moving forward, we plan to keep to this time of year, after the domestic league and at a time when the other codes are on break.”
The decision to include the women’s team in the series was made by Cook Islands Cricket chief executive officer Davis Teinaki and Walker.
“Davis and I agreed that it would be great for the sport if we extended Vaka of Origin to both sexes, but that entailed making it a T20 rather than the original 50-over format,” Walker said.
“Obviously, the long term goal is to build cricket through increased participation. To that end, we plan on adding events to the cricket calendar, such as Vaka of Origin.”
Walker said they were also establishing a planning committee that will work on building the youth programme, establishing additional sponsorship, upgrading Turangi, and most of all, building a cricket training facility and international grade ground in the future.
“I would love to stress that the Vaka of Origin is a free event, and we are arranging food and beverage service as well as bathroom facilities at the field.
“We hope local families will come down to watch an all-star event over the next three Saturdays.”