April 24, 2009

Fiji

Fiji name squad for Stafford-Knight Trophy

Jamie Alter

Tony Munro

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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Posted by Muzzy on (May 18, 2009, 4:23 GMT)

Spot on Tom. I saw a lot of the matches and it's fair to say the talent accross both sides was fairly even. However, despite being much younger, Vanuatu played sensible focused cricket. If they were in trouble they steadied the ship, if they were dominating they still kept a level head. Fiji however just wanted to hit every ball out of the park and never looked like batting out 50 overs. This is purely due to preparation and discipline provided by the Vanuatu coaching staff. Steve clearly ignores preparation. This guy should look at the attitudes of the young Vanuatu team. There was a 17 year old kid playing for Vanuatu who would be a better coach than Steve. He is arrogant in all aspects of the game/life. His selection and refusal to try new things suggests that Fiji want to avoid winning matches for a long time. Steve do us all a favour and quit. I hear the English cricket team are advertising, it would be great if you could take your losing form over there!

Posted by Tom Robbins Collins on (May 14, 2009, 3:25 GMT)

Clearly Steve Jenkin is the wrong man for the job. The team he chose not only were defeated for the first time in History by Vanuatu, but were completely thrashed. Vanuatu were more disciplined and had 5 players under 19 in their best 11. A terrible performance from Fiji and most of the blame should go to Steve.

Posted by kaiviti on (May 1, 2009, 3:30 GMT)

dont know what development steve jenkin is fucking talking about. bringing in 40+ men into the squad for vanuatu. time to build up the team for 2010 series

Posted by Concerned Fijian on (April 29, 2009, 2:09 GMT)

Too many men the wrong side of 40, still got plenty of work to do

Posted by AJ_NZ on (April 27, 2009, 7:24 GMT)

As usual there is no Indian in Fiji Team. What do we need to do get there. Field teams , play different first class shields or just talk to Frank ????

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie Alter
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.

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