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Fiji have begun the rebuilding process by naming a new-look squad for next month's Stafford-Knight series against Vanuatu.
A change of captain and the promotion of three Under-19 national team players are among the changes from the one which finished fifth at last year's World Cricket League Division Four tournament in Tanzania. The team inished last in group matches, winning just the one game over Tanzania, but won the fifth-place play-off match against Jersey. As a result, they will play in Division Five in 2010.
Colin Rika, the former captain, is a reserve for the 14-man squad which will play against Vanuatu in two consecutive best-of-three series in Vila. Weather permitting, six games will be played, all using ODI 50-over-per-side rules.
Six players from last year's Division Four squad have been omitted and a captain is yet to be named. The three U-19 players are wicket-keeper Maciu Babiau, opener Seru Makutu and legspinner Viliame Yabaki.
Cricket Fiji High Performance Manager Steve Jenkin, who will coach the team, said it was clear change was required and the Vanuatu matches would be used to identify what that was. "We did not have a good result in Tanzania and we need to improve and that means hard work. I am not sure we will change the way we play - I’ll know more after Vanuatu - but we will certainly have to be more consistent at being good. We want to regain our previous position within ICC.”
Fiji will play in the East Asia-Pacific Trophy in Samoa in September. These games are part of the performance assessment criteria for Vanuatu's application for Associate membership. Fiji won last year's series against Vanuatu 2-0.
Fiji squad: (captain to be named)
Josaia Baba, Maciu Babiau, Eric Browne, Joji Bulabalavu, Iniasi Cakacaka, Josefa Dabea, Samu Draunivudi, Sakaraia Lomani, Seru Makutu, Joeli Mateyawa, Peni Rika, Jone Sevou, Josefa Sorovakatini, Viliame Yabaki; reserves – Malcolm Bossley, Colin Rika, Omid Saberi, Tukana Tavo.
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Senior sub-editor While teachers in high school droned on about Fukuyama and communism, young Jamie's mind tended to wander to Old Trafford and the MCG. Subsequently, having spent six years in the States - studying Political Science, then working for an insurance company - and having failed miserably at winning any cricket converts, he moved back to India. No such problem in Bangalore, where he can endlessly pontificate on a chinaman who turned it around with a flipper, and why Ricky Ponting is such a good hooker. These days he divides his time between playing office cricket and constant replenishments at one of the city's many pubs.