October 29, 2008


Cricket Fiji general manager eyes grassroots

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

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Posted by singhy on (November 27, 2008, 21:53 GMT)

I am a fiji born Indian who grew up living in sydney and playing cricket. What frustrates me is that the ICC donates some funding etc but makes it hard for guys like me to qualify to play for Fiji. There are several fiji born indians who play at a high level that i know of in sydney who would lift the standard of the national team, make it more competetive and hopefully get more marketing and money/ sponsorship exposure for the game in fiji that way.. In fiji i know that there are some good quality players but they don't get the facilities to practice and improve. I am trying to take a side from sydney to tour fiji and play some games there hopefully

Posted by sangnil on (November 14, 2008, 18:00 GMT)

hi , I am sangnil we are a small country from fiji.but we have a very rich culture .If some boards like bcci or icc will provide us fund then we can also compete in cricket in world level..We are requesting these people to help us..There are somany countries like us.In fiji there are aroun 50 clubs in cricket but no help from government so please help us

Posted by josh gibson on (November 10, 2008, 11:36 GMT)

i think the ICC could still do more to help these sorts of nations. also the bigger countries like Australia (where i live). people here humor these teams because of the lack of skill.

Posted by Rich B on (October 29, 2008, 15:07 GMT)

The World Cricket League structure really seems to have brought home to some countries the need for and the benefits of a professional set up. Fiji now have a full time coach and statements like this are encouraging - they won't be a long way off making World Cup qualifiers in future if they continue to move in the right direction.

By the wa, Fiji finished 5th out of 6 in the recent WCL Div 4 competition. Jersey came last after Fiji beat them in the play off.

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Mathew Varghese
Sub-editor (stats) After graduating in Economics from St Xavier's College, Mathew Varghese did a journalism course before joining Cricinfo. Born and brought up in Bombay, Mathew thought hailing from the same city as Sachin Tendulkar would automatically make him inherit some of the genius. Sadly, besides a low grip on the bat handle, he acquired nothing else. He still dreams of being the perfect cricketer - a Bradmanesque batsman who can blend aggression with dour defence; a bowler who can perform the roles of McGrath, Lee and Warne; a fielder in the Jonty class; and a captain-cum-coach with an unprecedented record.

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