Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Fiji and Samoa will contest the Women's Challenge Series between February 2 and 5 in Apia, Samoa to determine the team that shall complete the pool for the 2010 ICC EAP Women's Cricket Trophy. The winner is to be determined in a three game 50-over series to be played at the pristine Samoa Gardens Ovals in Apia, Samoa.
ICC EAP Tournament Manager Nick Frayne commented, "This series is an extremely important one and the first of its kind in the EAP Region. This is the beginning of the pathway for the EAP teams to hopefully progress all the way to the next ICC Women's World Cup."
Fiji has already commenced preparations for the encounter, hosting the inaugural Cricket Fiji Women's Cricket Championship over five days from January 12 in Suva, Fiji. The tournament boasts five teams from across Fiji, and the national squad to contest Samoa shall be selected from this group following the tournament's close.
Hosts Japan and defending champions Papua New Guinea have already booked their places to the 2010 ICC EAP Women's Cricket Trophy to be held in Sano City, Japan between 4 and 8 May. This will be the first time that the EAP Region has had more than two teams contest a Women's Regional Tournament, and with Tonga, Indonesia and several other EAP Members continuing to grow the women's game these numbers are sure to increase.