Twenty20 to kick off East Asia-Pacific Trophy

Tony Munro

The East Asia-Pacific Trophy, the regional tournament for the ICC's development zone of that name, starts today in Apia, Samoa. The format has been tweaked with the addition of a Twenty20 event, in which all eight times will take part, while the 50-over competition has been split into two divisions.

The Twenty20 event kicks off the tournament, with the teams divided into two groups - Group A comprising Papua New Guinea (PNG), Japan, the Cook Islands and Tonga, while Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa and Indonesia will contest Group B.

The First Division will feature just the three teams already playing in the World Cricket League - PNG, Fiji and Japan. Both PNG and Japan are without key players, giving Fiji its best chance to win the regional title for the first time.

The Second Division will involve the Cook Islands, Indonesia, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. The winner of this event will play in Division Eight of the WCL in 2010.

The draw:

Thursday, September 17 - (all Twenty20) - Cook Islands v Tonga, Vanuatu v Indonesia, Fiji v Vanuatu, Japan v Tonga, PNG v Tonga, PNG v Japan, Samoa v Indonesia, Fiji v Samoa;

Friday, September 18 - (all Twenty20) - AM - Vanuatu v Samoa, PNG v Tonga, Japan v Cook Islands, Fiji v Indonesia; PM - Finals.

Saturday, September 19 (50 overs) - PNG v Fiji, Samoa v Tonga, Cook Islands v Indonesia; byes - Vanuatu, Japan.

Sunday, September 20 - rest day.

Monday, September 21 (50 overs) - Vanuatu v Indonesia, Japan v Fiji, Samoa v Cook Islands; byes - PNG, Tonga.

Tuesday, September 22 (50 overs) - Samoa v Vanuatu, Tonga v Cook Islands, PNG v Japan; byes - Fiji, Indonesia.

Wednesday, September 23 (50 overs) - Fiji v Japan, Indonesia v Samoa, Tonga v Vanuatu; byes - Cook Islands, PNG.

Thursday, September 24 (50 overs) - Indonesia v Tonga, PNG v Japan, Cook Islands v Vanuatu; byes - Fiji, Samoa.

Friday, September 25 - Finals - 1st v 2nd, 3rd v 4th, PNG v Fiji, 5th v Japan.

The dates given are for the day the matches are played in Samoa.