A 100 run win over the Philippines in a pre-tournament warm up match pointed toward a Cook Islands side ready to take on the big boys of international cricket and achieve a top five position.
As it was the Cooks went winless to finish eighth on the table. Cooks cricket CEO Alister Stevic said that a top five finish was realistic however too often the team let matches slip through their fingers.
“We performed well in three of our four ‘must win’ target matches however small mistakes meant we just fell short of victory each time,” said Stevic.
Stevic said that a review with coach Nga Emile would take place so the team could identify positives and key areas needing improvement.
Cooks coach Nga Emile commented that the single biggest positive effect that can be achieved by this talented side is the psychology of the game.
“We can no longer afford to be intimidated by the big stage, by the big moment or the big boys of international cricket. There must be belief within the team that we are match winners. The boys are gutted at the moment, but if we achieve that then we are going a long way in realising our top five ambitions.”
Pastor Zekaria and Daniel Vailoa were two successes from the tournament with the youngsters delivering consistent quality performances and will no doubt play a key part in coach Emile’s future plans in taking the team forward. -