The ICC Women’s Qualifier EAP begins on 6 May in Vanuatu where 15 T20 internationals will be played in the five-day tournament. Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, PNG, Samoa and Vanuatu are all two steps away from the Australia T20 and New Zealand 50 over World Cups, and will be fighting for top spot to keep their hopes alive.
Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leona, Tanzania, Uganda and hosts Zimbabwe will battle it out in ICC Women’s Qualifier Africa from May 6 for the top spot to continue their journey.
Teams will also be competing to climb the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings with a total of 32 Women’s T20 internationals being played across both tournaments.
Japan captain Mai Yanagida developed her interest for cricket at university transitioning from softball said: “I would be extremely happy if we qualified, since our last tournament win in 2012, we have been aiming to build on that. Cricket is now a big part of my life and I enjoy playing with people from different countries such as Australia, India and Sri Lanka in the Japan Cricket League.”
Samoa captain Regina Sela Monika Lilii who is also the Women’s Cricket Development Officer said: “If we were to qualify I would probably be overwhelmed with all sorts of emotions so it's difficult to say, but it would feel somewhere between being absolutely over the moon to being too mentally and physically exhausted to speak.
“Seeing all the local kids genuinely enjoying the game as well as seeing all the young, raw talent coming through and the pathway and opportunities that are provided for them is genuinely exciting for cricket in Samoa.”
PNG captain Kaia Arua who started playing cricket as a child said: “Representing my country playing cricket and meeting new friends is what I like most about the sport. It would be an exciting and proud moment for the team and as the captain also, it would be a proud team achievement if we were to qualify from the tournament.”
Indonesia captain Puji Haryanti who is studying at a Jakarta state university said: “It is good for Indonesian cricket, we are making a new history and I hope the next generation continues it on. Indonesia wants to accept and develop the sport as there are still many people who do not know exists. I enjoy fielding catching every ball in many different ways its very challenging and cool.”
Fiji captain Ruci Kaiwai Muriyalo who grew up on the island of Moce playing cricket on the island said: “If we were to qualify I would be over the moon. Not just for our team and country but for the possibilities that women in Fiji have through this beautiful sport. It'll be a dream come true.”
ICC Women’s Qualifier Africa
5 May: Zimbabwe v Mozambique (Harare Sports Club, 09h30); Namibia v Kenya (Old Hararians, 09h30); Uganda v Sierra Leone (Harare Sports Club,13h50); Nigeria v Rwanda (Old Hararians, 13h50)
6 May: Mozambique v Nigeria (Harare Sports Club, 09h30); Kenya v Sierra Leone (Old Hararians, 09h30); Uganda v Namibia (Harare Sports Club, 13h50); Tanzania v Zimbabwe (Old Hararians, 13h50)
8 May: Mozambique v Rwanda (Harare Sports Club, 09h30); Nigeria v Tanzania (Old Hararians, 09h30); Kenya v Uganda (Harare Sports Club, 13h50); Sierra Leone v Namibia (Old Hararians, 13h50)
9 May: Rwanda v Zimbabwe (Harare Sports Club, 09h30); Tanzania v Mozambique (Old Hararians, 09h30)
11 May: Zimbabwe v Nigeria (Harare Sports Club, 09h30); Rwanda v Tanzania (Old Hararians, 09h30)
12 May: Winner Group A v Winner Group B (Harare Sports Club, 11h00)
ICC Women’s Qualifier EAP
6 May: Vanuatu v PNG (Ground 1, 09h30); Japan v Indonesia (Ground 2, 09h30); PNG v Indonesia (Ground 1, 13h30); Samoa v Fiji (Ground 2, 13h30)
7 May: Samoa v Japan (Ground 1, 09h30); Fiji v PNG (Ground 2, 09h30); Indonesia v Samoa (Ground 1, 13h30); Vanuatu v Fiji (Ground 2, 13h30)
9 May: Vanuatu v Samoa (Ground 1, 09h30); Fiji v Japan (Ground 2, 09h30); PNG v Japan (Ground 1, 13h30); Indonesia v Vanuatu (Ground 2, 13h30)
10 May: Indonesia v Fiji (Ground 1, 09h30); Japan v Vanuatu (Ground 2, 09h30); Samoa v PNG (Ground 1 13h30)
ICC Women’s Qualifier EAP
Japan: Mai Yanagida (captain), Rio Endo, Eri Iko, Ayaka Kanada, Ruan Kanai, Miho Kanno, Akari Kano, Akari Kitayama, Shizuka Miyaji, Kasumi Nanno, Erika Oda, Madoka Shiraishi, Kotone Taniguchi, Nao Tokizawa.
Samoa: Regina Sela Monika Lilii (captain), Lelia Anne Bourne, Lily Sinei Mulivai, Feala Laki Vaelua Pula, Lagi Otila Tele’a, Taofi Lafai, Maria Isitoa Tato, Kolotita Makerita Lui Nonu, Taalili Iosefo, Ruth Papa Johnson, Faaiuga Sisifo, Kalala Tanuvasa, Solonaima Rosanna Aoina, Litara Rosanne Aoina.
PNG: Kaia Arua (captain), Tanya Ruma, Ravini Oa, Sibona Lucy Jimmy, Brenda Hoi Tau, Naoani Noinoi Vare, Kopi John, Vicky Ara’a, Arani Erica Pokana, Natasha Maze Ambo, Mairi Tom, Helai Nou, Gari Valo Buruka, Henao Jean Thomas.
Indonesia: Puji Haryanti (captain), Anak Agung Istri Anak Pranita Bastari, Annisa Sulistianingsih, Berlian Duma Pare, Edenyce Krismartini Eduard, Kadek Winda Prastini, Netty Sitompul, Ni Kadek Fitria Rada Rani, Ni Made Patri Suwandewi, Ni Putu Ayu Nanda Sakarini, Tantri Wigradianti, Tazkia Hanum, Yulia Anggraeni, Yulianna Yulianna.
Vanuatu: Selina Solman (captain), Alvina Chilia, Rachel Andrew, Melissa Fare, Vicky Mansale, Mahina Tarimiala, Johanna Sokomanu, Marcelina Mete, Nasimana Navaika, Maiyllise Carlot, Valenta Langiatu, Leimara Tastuki, Shania Kenni, Valentina Tari.
Fiji: Ruci Muriyalo, Marica Vua, Luisa Vua, Luanne Rika, Mereia Tilau, Lanieta Vuadreu, Semaema Lomani, Ilisapeci Waqavakatoga, Ariera Tagilala, Wainikiti Ofamoli, Ilivema Eranavula, Shirley Lote, Ledua Samani, Macatacola Vuruna.