New Delhi [India], August 30 (ANI): The road to the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2024 continues in September with the East Asia Pacific (EAP) regional qualifying event taking place in Port Vila, Vanuatu. One team will book their spot in the global qualifier, where they will hope to qualify for the World Cup.
The island nation will play host to the Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa. Vanuatu, which earlier this year was hit by two major cyclones within 48 hours of each other, will welcome the competing teams as a way to boost tourism and support the local economy, a release said.
The event marks the return of an ICC Women's Qualifier to the region, with the last tournament played in 2019 due to the global pandemic.
Defending champions Papua New Guinea will be looking to retain their place on top of the region.
Concurrent to the on-field action, the ICC is also hosting the 100 per cent Cricket Leadership Programme which focuses on athletes (leading female cricketers from the seven competing nations), commentators, and coaches.
Supported by the Australian Government's PacificAus Sports, the programme seeks to uplift sport knowledge and sports-based skills within the EAP region. The program will be in-part, facilitated by former Australian cricketers and media personalities, Mel Jones, Julia Price, and Cathryn Fitzpatrick, as well as representatives from Australian Cricket and New Zealand Cricket.
As part of the Leadership Program day, a 100% Cricket Women's Health Education session will be held with the participating teams. The objective is to normalise and drive necessary conversation around the topic of women's health and menstrual cycles within the cricket ecosystem.
Vanuatu Cricket Association (VCA) CEO Tim Cutler said as quoted by ICC, "With all the disruption due to the pandemic in 2022 and Tropical Cyclones JudyKevin in March we are proud to be hosting our second ICC T20 World Cup qualifying event in under a year. Our national women's cricket team is the country's highest-ranked team and under the guidance of new coach Joshua Rasu we look forward to watching Selina Solman's squad continue to represent the country with honour.""The VCA would like to thank the ICC, both the VanuatuAustralian Governments for their continued support as well as our sponsors and supporters," Cutler added.
EAP Regional Development Manager Rob Gomm said as quoted by ICC, "I am so excited to see the senior women's World Cup Qualifier coming back to the region. With four years since the last event, the competition is wide-open with a number of debutants across each team. I am particularly excited to see the 100% Cricket Leadership Program run concurrently. We wanted to utilise having close to 100 female athletes in attendance and have designed the sessions to enhance their leadership capability and develop their off-field skills. Our cohort of world-class facilitators are ready to go in what will be an excellent program for all involved." "I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this event, particularly the Vanuatu Cricket Association, for their efforts in delivering a true celebration of women's cricket in the EAP region," Gomm added.
The qualifier matches will be played from September 1 to September 8.