May 29, 2000

Solomon Islands: National association formed

Cricket's rebirth in the Solomon Islands has gained further impetus with the formation of the country's first national administrative body

Cricket's rebirth in the Solomon Islands has gained further impetus with the formation of the country's first national administrative body.

The Solomon Islands Cricket Association was created at a recent meeting in the capital, Honiara, by enthusiasts keen to cement recent progress.

Officials hope to establish a competitive league, possibly as soon as next month.

It is likely the competition would include teams representing 'Australia', 'New Zealand', 'Rest of the Commonwealth' and at least one team of Solomon Islanders.

A set competition structure will be consolidation of a gradual process which initally saw the odd social game last year lead to monthly matches.

Officals wisely see only short term potential in a future for Solomon Islands cricket that is reliant on expatriate involvement.

"The game here fluctuates on the number of expatriates," SICA official, Len Palmer said.

"The problem is getting indigenous Solomon Islanders to play. The game is no longer played in the schools and the locals who do play are those in their thirties who did get to play it in school."

Help is on the way. Through 'Beyond The Test World' SICA officials have made contact with ICC East Asia-Pacifac Development Officer, Andrew Eade, who has sent a paper querying the SICA's needs.

While they see such a move may be premature at this stage, officials hope to eventually seek ICC membership.