Vanuatu Women’s Cricket Team Makes Historic Entry into T20 World Cup Qualifier

Vanuatu Women's Cricket Team Shocks World with T20 Qualifier Entry!

Vanuatu Women’s Cricket Team Makes Historic Entry into T20 World Cup Qualifier

By Daniel Beswick

Vanuatu’s women’s cricket team, led by Selina Solman, is set to make history as they face Zimbabwe in their first match of the Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier. Despite previous defeats to Uganda and Sri Lanka, the team’s performance has shown promise and resilience.

Following their match with Zimbabwe, Vanuatu is scheduled to play against The Netherlands, Ireland, and UAE.

All-rounder Rachel Andrew, along with captain Solman, has shown impressive form in the initial matches of the tour.

Vanuatu with Sri Lanka

Vanuatu’s team with Sri Lanka after their warm-up match at Tolerance Oval.

Despite surpassing Vanuatu’s target on 23rd April, Sri Lanka lost 6/36 in a span of nine overs. The experience of playing against the seventh-ranked T20I team is invaluable, according to Solman, as the Pacific team aims to cause a few surprises in the Qualifier run.

“It was a proud moment for us to play against a team we’ve admired for a long time. We learned a lot from the match and will use those lessons to improve our future games,” Solman said.

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The match against Zimbabwe marks the first competitive encounter between Vanuatu and a Full Member nation across both men’s and women’s teams. The team is aiming to become the first from their country to qualify for a global event in the sport. No senior Vanuatu team in any sport has qualified for a World Cup, with their Men’s Under-20 football team being the only side to have participated in a World Cup back in 2017.

Solman’s team is the highest-ranked Vanuatu national team (30th) in any sport. Recent international results in cricket should also encourage Vanuatu, with East Asia-Pacific rivals Papua New Guinea (11th ranked), who fell to Solman’s side in qualifying, going on to beat Zimbabwe in a T20I in Harare in March, albeit via a Super Over.

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Back home, the team has a strong support base with 150 senior women’s club cricketers and over 300 junior girls participating in club cricket. Solman and men’s international Nalin Nipiko are popular figures, with their images adorning billboards over the national ground in the capital. The sport is growing rapidly in the country, with over 24,000 children playing some form of cricket across schools.

Despite logistical challenges such as maintaining turf wickets and procuring equipment due to the country’s remote location, the Vanuatu Cricket Association (VCA) has found innovative solutions. They have secured a sponsorship deal with Melbourne-based Ferox and received donated bats from long-time supporter Peter Duffy.

The VCA has also launched a public fundraiser to help cover costs for the upcoming qualifier and formed a strategic partnership with Australian agricultural compliance specialists Icomply. This allows players to continue their cricketing programs while on seasonal work in Queensland.

Vanuatu CEO Tim Cutler is confident that the team is ready to surprise their heavily-favoured rivals. “The mood in the team is good. They’ve seen themselves take wickets against the best team here ranking-wise (Sri Lanka). I am confident that they will put their best out there in Zimbabwe in game one,” Cutler said.

The Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier begins on Thursday, 25 April, with all matches live and free on (in select regions).

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