Vanuatu are hoping to make a fast start in tonight’s World Cricket League 5 opening round in South Africa.
The Melanesian side were relegated after finishing fourth at the same stage last year but earned another shot at promotion after winning the East Asia Pacific regional qualifier in February.
Vanuatu face defending champions Jersey tonight and head coach Shane Dietz says it will give them a clear of idea of exactly where they stand.
“Jersey obviously won the tournament last year on their home ground, which really suited the way they play cricket, and they went up to Division 4 like they have in the past and come back down like they have in the past.”
“Hopefully they don’t travel too well away from home and we can get them first game and get them a bit cold and just off the plane and hopefully knock them over early and we’ll get our first win.”
Eight teams are competing for two promotion places in Benoni, just outside of Johannesburg, with Vanuatu also up against Ghana and Germany in pool play.
Shane Dietz said he expects plenty of tough competition.
“We played the Cayman Islands two years ago in Division 6 and they were a really good side – I was impressed with a couple of their players, so they’ll be dangerous, and Italy are coming down from Division 4…they’ve got an Australian player who played in a Big Bash team a few years ago and a South African that plays at a decent level so they’ll be obviously pretty good as well, and Qatar have got some ex Pakistan first-class players…we’ve just got to really concentrate on our game and do what we do well and the results will take care of themselves, he said.
Shane Dietz said the Vanuatu squad had matured over the last year and their younger players now have a few tournaments under their belts and are ready to contribute more with bat and ball alongside their experienced core.