Fiji set sights on top 3 finish
Fiji are targeting at least one victory against the three nations tipped as the most likely to take out the upcoming Pepsi ICC East Asia-Pacific Women’s Championship, officially scored by CricHQ when the competition begins next week in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Now deep into an intensive five month preparation for the event, Fiji women’s national coach Joe Rika is keen for his girls to make a real impact.
“We aim to win three out of the five games and give the other two teams’ good competition,” said Rika. “On paper Japan and PNG are in a different League to the other teams but we’ve played Samoa on a couple occasions and have come close so we definitely see Samoa as a threat to us achieving our goal for the tournament.”
Rika’s training program for the women began with two months of intense fitness training before the focus switched to working on the players techniques. So far Rika is impressed with what he has seen.
“Sera Kaukiono has just completed her first full club season in Australia and hopefully she can bring some of her good form to Vanuatu. Marica Vua has been bowling well in the Suva women’s competition and after a pleasing performance in her last International tour, I hope she can do the same in 2012.”
This will be the largest International competition that the Fiji women’s team has ever participated in and Rika believes a successful tournament from his side will be fantastic promotion for the women’s game in Fiji.
“The opportunity to compete at an international event overseas will definitely build the image of women’s cricket in Fiji and hopefully create more local role models that could then attract more female participants to the sport,” he said.