New Zealand news September 7, 2013

Devcich keen to turn out for New Zealand Croatia

ESPNcricinfo staff

Had Anton Devcich not been a part of the New Zealand A team playing in Visakhapatnam, he would have been an important part of the New Zealand Croatia team's maiden cricket tour to Cook Islands.

The side, comprising New Zealand cricketers of Croatian origin, recently participated in a tri-series against the senior men's team and the under-19 team of Cook Islands, and Devich explained that he intended to be a regular part of the team whenever he could. New Zealand Croatia are now planning a tour to England later this year and aim to tour Croatia in the long term.

"Obviously being here as a part of the New Zealand A team takes precedence," Devcich told the Indian Express. "But I do plan to be an integral part of NZC. They played four T20s in Roratunga and I heard it was a blast. Our overall aim is to give Croatian cricket more exposure. Despite a long history, they haven't had the players to raise their game and no money with most of our ancestors having moved to New Zealand due to civil war."

Before the tour, Joseph Yovich, one of the founders of the New Zealand Croatia side, said the team was a place for cricketers to discover their links to Croatia's cricketing history. Four members of the New Zealand Croatia side are also a part of Croatia's cricket team: Paul and John Vujnovich (the current Croatia captain), Anthony Govorko and former international Anton Vujcich.

Devcich said he was pleased to find so many cricketers of similar origin in New Zealand: "Every town has its own settlement of Croatians and I have been surprised over the last five or six years how many there are in New Zealand and Australia. Four, including Joseph, Dusan Hakaraia and me are playing first-class cricket back home, and across the Tasman, there were Simon Katich and Michael Kasprowicz."