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Thursday 15 June 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Cricket, Sports


National women’s cricket gets overseas help
Cook Islands Women’s cricket team with Dan Vann and coach Tomakanute Ritawa (Kunta) at the Tupapa Court during a train in June this year. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/23061407

Cook Islands women’s cricket team have started their training for the ICC T20 Women’s East Asia Pacific World Cup Qualifier which will be played in Vanuatu in August.

Internationally recognised cricket coach Dan Vann is assisting local women’s cricket coach Tomakanute Ritawa (Kunta) in the preparations.

Vann, an experienced cricket player, captain, coach and administrator of Evolution Sports Coaching in Christchurch, New Zealand, said he is assisting the team with their training and upskilling.

He said they have done four sessions of training already and on Tuesday they worked on more fielding exercises.

“The girls have been working really hard. They have lots of skills and talent and so we are just doing a bit of fun training.”

Vann adds the women’s team is talented, adding it’s just a matter of giving them more chances to play more cricket and gain experience.

“It’s just a matter of getting a chance to play more cricket. They definitely have the skills and the ability, they just need more playing and getting more experience.”

He said the team is a mixture of age group with a couple of youngsters.

Cook Islands Cricket Association (CICA) is collaborating with Vann, who has a unique combination of skills, both as a cricket player and PE teacher, which enables him to get the best out of his players.

Vann has coached cricket both locally in Christchurch and internationally for over the past 10 years.

His coaching experience has taken him to Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, India, the USA and the UK where he has been an overseas player-coach.

Meanwhile Vann said he had been to Rarotonga more than four times and in his last visit, he assisted the men’s team and did a couple of unplanned training sessions with them.

Vann, who is here for a week, also donated over $5000 worth of cricket gear for the team.

He said it was four bags of gear, donated by friends and family and professional players.

This week Vann also held a mental skill session with the Cook Islands Touch team. He is holding another mental skill session at 1pm on Saturday for anyone who would like to work on the mental side of sport – focusing on working under pressure, a practical session- self talk, and absorbing pressure. It will be held at the cross fit gym across from the Edgewater Resort in Arorangi. Those interested in attending can sign up on the Evolution Sports Coaching website.