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|Physical Address:||c/o Seb & Rene Sports PO Box 9599, Motootua, Apia Samoa|
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Cricket in the Samoan islands has a colourful history since it was introduced in 1884 by the visit of the British Royal Navy vessel, the HMS Diamond. Since this time, not too much is known of organised cricket in the islands but from 1964, a band of locals and hardy expats would gather together as the Wanderers to play against passing cruise ships and other visitors. Ad hoc cricket fixtures and tournaments were the norm around Samoa until the late 1990s when an Association and Committee was formed to take cricket to the next level.
In 2000, the Samoa International Cricket Association (SICA) became an Affiliate Member of the ICC. This affiliation provides annual funding support for SICA and also ensures that Samoa participates in regular ICC international fixtures and tournaments across the region and beyond. SICA also enjoys a strong partnership with Auckland Cricket, who provides professional assistance and training in all areas of cricket including coaching, umpiring and administration.
SICA has a dedicated administration, which is run by an experienced committee and headed by local cricket legend and leading businessman, Seb Kohlhase. Seb, who played first class cricket in New Zealand and Australia, is well-known in sporting circles in the region and his passion for cricket was one of the main reasons for his receiving an ICC award in 2006 for Lifetime Services to Cricket.
The patron of SICA is the Honourable Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegoai. The Prime Minister's strong support of cricket has helped the sport maintain a high profile in Samoa and ensures that cricket continues to grow and develop. Cricket is now played at Samoa's premier cultural carnival, the Teuila Festival, inextricably linking the sport with Samoan culture.
Since joining the ICC, Samoa has participated in many international tournaments at senior level, including: the 2001 and 2002 ICC Pacific Cup tournaments, the 2003 South Pacific Games and the 2005 ICC East Asia-Pacific Trophy.
During 2009, the national team participated in a number of major regional tournaments, namely the 2009 ICC EAP Trophy that Samoa hosted in September. Samoa came third in the T20 competition and second in Division 2 in the 50-over competition. SICA also formed a domestic women's competition in mid 2009, in the hope of selecting a team to participate in the ICC's very first East-Asia-Pacific Women's Cricket Trophy in Japan in early 2010. This it duly achieved, narrowly missing out on a place in the Grand Final. Samoa also sent an U15 national team to Indonesia in July 2009 to compete in the EAP U15 Super 8's.
SICA has hosted numerous international tournaments on its home turf, including the 2002 Pacifica Cup, the 2007 ICC East Asia-Pacific Cricket 8s and the Annual Prime Minister's Cup Easter Tournament. Samoa also hosted the region's premier multi-sport event, the South Pacific Games, in August-September 2007. These events have provided great exposure for cricket within Samoa and the region and have showcased SICA's event management skills.
Since SICA was formed in 1999, a local senior competition has operated every year and many cricketers flock to the Samoa Gardens Ovals in Apia each Saturday to participate in regular competition. The beauty of the sunny, tropical climate allows cricket to be played in Samoa every Saturday between April and November. Between six and eight clubs enter a team each year to compete for the SICA Premiership. This robust domestic competition, featuring sides from both urban and rural village areas, continues to act as the main breeding ground for cricketers aspiring to further honours with the national team. In 2009, SICA started a rural programme in which it entered into rural villages to create and train teams, then begin a competition between the rural villages boosting team numbers from six to around 15.
A feature of the domestic calendar is the Prime Minister's Cup tournament, an annual competition which is staged every Easter. This invitational tournament features international teams coming to Samoa to play against Samoan representative teams. This tournament provides valuable match practice for local cricketers against more experienced players from developed cricketing nations.
Cricket is strong at grassroots level due to the dedicated junior development programme, which operates in schools. This programme is carried out entirely by SICA junior development volunteers. A schoolboys' tournament is conducted annually and the programme has recently expanded successfully to rural areas where children in the outer villages are being exposed to the game. A promising sign for the junior development programme is that a large amount of the teams participate in the school competition with eight male teams and five female teams. This allows SICA to have more variety in selection for future ICC EAP U15 Cricket 8s tournaments.
Cricket also enjoys links with traditional Samoan Kirikiti, ensuring that the game is enjoyed nationwide. For the first time in 2009, cricket was introduced to the annual 'Teuila Festival', Samoa's premier cultural festival, thus promoting cricket as a national game played by all Samoans.
Samoa enjoys arguably the best facilities in the EAP region at the Samoa Gardens Ovals precinct. The Samoa Gardens Ovals precinct boasts three international grounds, each with brand new synthetic matting, practice nets, changing rooms and unique Samoan viewing fales. The rural development programme also received a boost with the construction of 10 new cricket grounds scheduled across Samoa over the last year.
Women's cricket is the next big thing to hit Samoa with the introduction of women's cricket during Samoa's premier cultural event, the Teuila Festival. Also SICA's new program 'You Hit like a Girl' begun in April 2009, involving entering 10 schools, running female specific clinics, then beginning that May starting Saturday morning sessions at the Garden Oval Cricket Fields. The women's competition then began the following June.