18 Feb 2017

Sport: Vanuatu target World Cricket League return

12:34 pm on 18 February 2017

Vanuatu is targeting a return to the World Cricket Leagues at the East Asia-Pacific Qualifier, which begins in Bendigo tomorrow.

Vanuatu players come together during a warm-up match in Sydney.

Vanuatu players come together during a warm-up match in Sydney. Photo: Facebook / Vanuatu Cricket

The Melanesian side was relegated from Division Five in May last year after losing a tight playoff match against hosts Guernsey.

Head coach Shane Deitz said despite not having any international competition, the players have kept active over the last nine months.

"A few of our guys played in Europe: one lad played in Holland for the rest of that season and another lad, Patrick Matautaava, played in England."

"We've got four another four lads playing in Australia at the moment - well actually six in total - and a few guys played in the EAP ICC team in January," he said.

"In January we had ten guys playing in Australia at the time, so it was pretty good preparation and so for the team we are 12 month contracted players so they train full-time all year so we haven't really stopped basically."

That sent them back to regional qualification, where they will go up against Indonesia, the Philippines, Samoa, Japan and Fiji.

It's a round-robin format with the winner earning promotion to Division Five and Vanuatu coach Shane Deitz said the equation was simple.

"What we've got to try do is win every game. If we do that we will go through so that's the goal."

"There's going to be some good competition here - there's a few new faces, the Philippines have got a few new names that we don't know, so they could be an interesting team to play, they're pretty strong and obviously Samoa and Fiji are always tough competitors against us."

In the other opening round fixtures, Fiji face the Philippines and Samoa take on Japan.