The Cook Islands women’s national cricket team are international cricket’s new kids on the block, with these Pacific Games being their first appearance.
According to Cook Islands Cricket’s chief executive officer Alister Stevic, the greatest challenge is in managing expectations.
“The reality, here and now, for our women’s cricket team is we are less experienced than our opposition. That is not being defeatist, that is the reality,” says Stevic.
He says while some of the more experienced competitors can have an average day on the field and still win, the Cooks will have to fight every second of every minute of the game to keep the pressure on.
Asked about the likelihood of a podium finish, Stevic says it’s too early to comment.
“The playoffs (medal matches) are a long way off. There are still 2200 balls to be bowled, 330 wickets to be taken and 2800 runs to be scored before the medal matches even take place.
“This team has to concentrate on one game at a time, if the girls fight hard and execute plans and reach the third and fourth playoffs, then that would represent real success for the women and for the country. The people of the Cook Islands could be really proud of that achievement.”
Stevic said he felt he had the team willing to fight hard for the best result possible.
He was pleased with the continuity of the team but was disappointed that young cricket stars Memory Kauvai and Jasmanda Tuaputa were not available for the games.
The national women’s cricket team members are: Laupa Elikana (Pukapuka), June George (Turangi Cricket Club, Rarotonga), Terito Ine (Pukapuka), Daena Kataina (Muri CC, Rarotonga), Marii Kaukura (Matavera CC, Aitutaki), Punanga Kaveao (Muri CC, Rarotonga), Phillica Maruariki (Muri CC, Rarotonga), Maloku Mataora (Pukapuka), Bene Matapo (Matavera CC, Mauke), Sala Matapo (Matavera CC, Mauke), Tina Mato (Muri CC, Rarotonga), Lacynthia Rani (Muri CC, Rarotonga) and Mirioni Ravaia (Pukapuka).