24 Feb 2015

Sport: Pacific teams begin qualifying bid for U19 Cricket World Cup

10:02 am on 24 February 2015

The best young cricketers in the Pacific begin their quest to qualify for the Under 19 World Cup in Blenheim on Tuesday.

Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa will go head to head with the overall champion earning direct qualification for next year's tournament in Bangladesh, while the runners-up will advance to a final qualifier.

PNG are defending champions, having represented the region at the past four Under 19 World Cups, while Vanuatu has been runner-up in the previous two regional tournaments.

Samoa manager Dean Seuoti says having two chances to advance to the World Cup provides even more motivation to do well.

"When we prepared for this tournament I think that's the main goal is to step up from the last few years. We feel that PNG is dominating the South Pacific region but there are no Supermans in this world - as long as you've done the homework, you've done the hard work at training and if you turn up on the day with the right attitude and the right mindset you should be all good. That's the kind of mentality that we've put in to the preparation for this tournament".

Samoa take on Vanuatu and PNG face Fiji in today's opening round of matches, with some rain forecast to begin in the afternoon.