APIA, SAMOA – SATURDAY 05 AUGUST 2017: Hosting an international cricket tournament is a special occasion for any nation and there is hope an event in Samoa will inspire a new generation of players.
The island nation is set to host the 2018 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup – East Asia-Pacific Qualifier 2017 and the host’s coach is excited by the prospects for the event.
Winning the tournament means automatic qualification for the 2018 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup to be played in New Zealand in January next year.
Coach Imran Adi leads a group of Samoan cricketers he believes have exciting futures.
“We have a young team, but we also have an experienced manager. “
“In addition, we have Jeffery Clarke, an Australian coach coming into Samoa to help our young team gain more experience.”
“Put all this together and anything can happen,” stated Adi.
Adi believes hosting the qualifying tournament in Samoa will help the continued growth of junior cricket in the region.
“Our young budding team will be an inspiration for the next generation of cricket players in Samoa.”
“This will build more confidence in our boys and their team,” Adi continued.
Samoa are newcomers at this level and the team’s coaches have been spending a lot of time on skill work with their players.
Three players return to the Samoan side from the last qualifying tournament but Adi is looking forward to seeing his whole squad in action.
“Each player is talented in their own way and for me to pick the players to watch out for wouldn’t be fair to the rest of my players,” Adi added.
Many of the players have experience playing Samoa’s traditional version of the game but Adi believes they have lots to learn in the one-day format.
“Cricket is a long game and there will be many challenges and different situations that will come our way as a young team.”
“All we can do is to teach, train and condition our boys to the best that our coaching staff have to offer,” concluded Adi.
Samoa’s opening match of the tournament is against Vanuatu.