12 May 2012

Sport: Family atmosphere helps Samoan cricketers

5:02 am on 12 May 2012

Samoa departs for Port Vila today after three days fine-tuning it's preparations for the East Asia Pacific Women's Cricket Championship, which begins on Monday.

Six teams are taking part in the Twenty20 competition, including Fiji, Japan, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

The Samoan team is a mix of locally-based players, along with some from Australia and New Zealand, and head coach Maia Lewis says with a short-lead in they've been forced to gel quickly.

"Three or four weeks ago I was able to go over to Samoa and work with the local girls over there and I've been training the Auckland-based players for about three or four months now. It hasn't been too difficult - some of them were in the team last time so they knew each other but I think just the personality of the Island people seem to enjoy being around a pack mentality and having the family unit sort of around so that's sort of how we're treating our team really is just one big family."

Maia Lewis.

The tournament winner will advance to the next stage of qualifying for the 2014 Women's World Twenty20 event in Bangladesh.