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|Physical Address:||C/- BDO, PO Box 240, Port Vila
|Postal Address||1st Floor, BDO House, Lini Hwy
Port Vila, Vanuatu
|Main switchboard||+ 678 22280|
|General enquiry email:||email@example.com|
The game of cricket was introduced in Vanuatu at the commencement of the 20th Century (around 1905), through English expatriates that lived in the New Hebrides. Local competitions that involved teams of expatriates and native New Hebrideans from villages surrounding the capital, Port Vila, were run in and around Port Vila for many decades prior to when the Vanuatu Cricket Association joined the ICC as an Affiliate Member in 1995.
Since the introduction of the VCA's Development Programme in 2000, the game has grown in popularity, particularly among the Ni-Vanuatu population, and now local senior and junior competitions have both national and expatriate participation.
For a long time cricket was played at only one ground. In the 1970s, a ground was created at a plantation half-way around the island of Efate and then at White Sands Country Club, some 20 km from the city. The VCA has built four new grounds in the past five years to try to cope with the increased interest and enthusiasm for the game in Vanuatu.
Vanuatu Cricket is a founder member of VASANOC (Vanuatu Amateur Sports and National Olympic Committee) and has competed in all the South Pacific Games cricket tournaments that have been played, apart from 2007 in Samoa.
Vanuatu Cricket and the people involved in the organisation have won a number of global and regional ICC Development Awards since these were introduced a few years ago.
The Vanuatu national senior team's highest achievements include:
- Third place at the 2005 East Asia-Pacific Cup, which was hosted in Port Vila by the VCA
- In December 2007, Vanuatu qualified for the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 in Jersey after finishing second to Japan in the ICC EAP Cup in Auckland. There it failed to win a match - even losing the play-off for 11th spot to finish last.
- Vanuatu took home the silver medal at the 1979 South Pacific Games.
However, it is in junior international competitions that Vanuatu has really shone in recent years. Vanuatu finished second in the inaugural East Asia-Pacific U15s Super 8s competition in Melbourne in 2005, the Vanuatu U15s also repeated this in Samoa in 2007, losing close finals to PNG on both occasions, after defeating them in the preliminary round-robin stages in each tournament.
In 2007, the VCA hosted the EAP U19 Cricket World Cup Qualifying tournament, with the Vanuatu team again losing narrowly to PNG in the final, to finish a commendable second. While the young Vanuatu squads have found it tough to jump that final hurdle against PNG, its performances mean it is now widely regarded as a force in regional junior cricket.
The BDO Club Championship is the VCA's premier round-robin competition with as many as 10 sides competing each season. The competition is based in Port Vila, Efate, and is run between April and October, during the Vanuatu winter, to spare players the heat and humidity of the tropical summer. The BDO Championship sees clubs from around the island of Efate compete, including a number of junior development clubs that give budding young athletes a direct path from junior cricket into the senior competition.
The clubs also compete in an annual Twenty20 knockout competition called the Independence Cup, the finals of which are played during the Independence Day weekend celebrations in July. The VCA has introduced the Vila Visuals T20 competition in 2008 as well as the Corporate League that is a mixed gender league focused at new entrants to the sport.
There are also a number of other senior competitions, run in a variety of forms, including seven-a-side. Senior teams often compete against cricket groups that visit Vanuatu from overseas (Australia and New Zealand).
The VCA's Community Cricket Development Programme is regarded as one of the best in the region, with the performance of the country's national junior squads being a testament to its success. The programme works mainly within the primary and secondary schools and some community groups in Efate. This exposes over 9000 girls and boys to cricket, giving them the chance to participate in local junior competitions such as the Ridgway Blake SEBSSA Games. Because sport is not part of the local school curriculum, the VCA has worked hard to involve school participation, through running coaching workshops for local teachers, and hosting numerous junior competitions. The VCA's development programme has recently expanded to include cricket clinics for people with a disability, which has been running on a regular basis to include disabled athletes in the wider sporting community.
VCA has sent its development officers to outer islands, particularly to the Presbyterian Youth Congresses and to Luganville primary schools over the past few years. This is an attempt to engender greater interest throughout the country.
The standard of umpiring has developed rapidly in Vanuatu with a number of committed people operating as qualified umpires in the local competitions. Umpiring courses are held through the VCA to ensure players are aware of the game's rules.
The VCA hosted its first girls-only cricket competition in 2007, with four teams from local schools and youth centres competing in the APCO Coatings U17 Girls Championship. That competition is expected to expand rapidly in the coming years, given that primary school participation is evenly split between boys and girls.
There are U11 and U13 girls' competitions and a primary school girls 'championship taking place for the past four years. The VCA has also worked hard to involve women in the coaching of junior teams at primary and secondary school level.
The VCA Women's Championships and the mixed gender Corporate League are providing new opportunities for women to move into the sport and pathways for the schoolgirls to follow. Of course Women's 'Traditional Cricket' has been long established in Vanuatu and this is a great game full of colour and excitement that provides a wonderful outlet for women from the villages to get together and have fun.
The VCA is a strong supporter of VANDI Sports, the local organisation working with disabled athletes. The VCA is also working with local branches of NGOs such as Save The Children, the Vanuatu Women's Centre, World Vision and UNICEF to promote local campaigns, particularly regarding children and women, through cricket. The VCA showed its support for HIV and AIDS awareness when all players competing in the EAP U19 CWC Qualifying tournament wore UNAIDS red ribbons on the final day of the competition.