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CICA bolsters coaching staff

Friday 19 April 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Cricket, Sports

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CICA bolsters coaching staff
The New Zealand-based Cook Islands national men’s team players have started their preparation for the upcoming 2024-2025 ICC Men's T20 World Cup East Asia-Pacific Qualifier to be played in Samoa in August. The newly appointed New Zealand development officer and national team’s assistant coach Ian West is pictured far right (front). Picture: RAHUL PATIL (team manager)/ 24041832

Cook Islands Cricket Association (CICA) has appointed former Samoan international Ian West as its New Zealand development officer and national team’s assistant coach.

Cricket president Grant Walker said West will work alongside the current men’s national team coach, Craig Murray, and women’s national head coach, Tomakanute Ritawa.  

West is the academy head coach at Parnell Cricket Club and the Sacred Heart College First Xl.  

He is from the United Kingdom, where he was a stalwart of Yorkshire Club Cricket, and has experience coaching in both the Big Bash League – the Australian men’s professional T20 league – and UK T20 Blast at both Gloucestershire CCC and Yorkshire CCC.

West then immigrated to New Zealand before spending considerable time in his wife’s home country of Samoa.

Walker said: “He is a former Samoan international player and was a High-Performance Coach for Samoa International Cricket Association (SICA).”

He said that upon West’s return to New Zealand from Samoa, he proceeded to win the New Zealand First Class Competition (Plunket Shield) and the Ford Trophy with the Auckland Aces as the interim head coach.  

“Clearly, Ian (West) brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our programme. We are extremely pleased to work with someone of his calibre and who has extensive experience in the region and in associate cricket,” said Walker.

“CICA is even more fortunate in that Ian is currently involved with New Zealand Cricket’s Pasifika programme which rosters 10 of our Cook Islands men’s and women’s national players.  

“We believe this appointment is a critical factor in the development of our programme.”

Walker adds this is a huge step forward for their international programme as they have already started individual training sessions for the off-season and “the take up is fantastic”.

Cook Islands Cricket has several major internationals scheduled for 2024 and 2025, beginning with the Men’s T20 World Cup Sub-Regional Qualifier hosted by Samoa in August. This will be followed by the Women’s Pacific Cup in early 2025 and then the Women’s Regional Qualifier the following August in Fiji.