Cricket Fiji general manager eyes grassroots
Martin Shaw, Cricket Fiji's general manager, is aiming to lift the image of the sport in the country. Fiji finished last in the ICC World Cricket League Division 4, which was won by Afghanistan. Their players have often faced charges of indiscipline; the ICC is currently conducting an investigation into an incident where a player was found in a pool of blood during the recent tournament.
With the ICC having increased the funding for Fiji, Shaw is targeting the grassroots. "There is a lot of work to be done over the next few years to lift cricket in Fiji and to where we would like it to be," Shaw told the Fiji Times. "We need to be more active in the schools with our development officers to ensure that junior players have an opportunity to learn to play cricket.
"We also need to educate teachers who then should be able to run cricket programs in their schools. We need to increase the pool of qualified coaches and umpires so that our club competitions are strengthened.
"With regard to elite cricket, we have to put in place a proper development program that identifies players from a young age and assists them in developing their skills from a junior level right through to senior international cricket.
"We are fortunate that starting from 2009 we will receive increased funding from the ICC," he said. "However, we will still need to raise our own income through sponsorship in order to achieve what we would like to achieve."
Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo