In other team news, Andrew Mansale has been appointed Interim High Performance Manger Manager and Head Coach – alongside his playing duties – until Ben Cameron’s replacement commences in the role.
The revised contract list sees its three tier A players now receive 70,000 vatu per month, with three B (65,000 p/m) and eight C/D contracts (55,000 p/m) also seeing substantial increases over the 2022 figures. The inclusion of additional training and rookie contracts sees the full list extend to 23.
Following their victory in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Pacific Qualifier hosted in Port Vila during September last year, the team now have the historic opportunity to qualify for the country’s first ever senior World Cup in any team sport in the nation’s history. They will face off against Japan, Philippines, and hosts PNG in late-July in the regional final.
“After a busy schedule of cricket in late 2022, our national men’s team has a very important period of cricket ahead of them and this is reflected in the new contract structure,” explained VCA CEO Tim Cutler.
“The new contract length allows us to invest even more into our men’s national team on a monthly basis as we prepare for the regional final in July.
“Built within the contracts is a substantial bonus system which will see each player receive 20% of their annualised salary if – and hopefully when – we win in Port Moresby.
“Moreover, we will be working hard with overseas cricket clubs and seasonal work providers in Australia and New Zealand to provide options for the players beyond July for them to increase their profile and earning capacity,” Cutler concluded.
The main squad sees the return of Clement Tommy, and the selection of young gun Womejo Wotu and quick Kenny Tari.
The full contracted / national men’s training list is as follows:
A: Patrick Matautaava (captain), Junior Kaltapau (vice-captain), Nalin Nipiko
B: Joshua Rasu, Apolinaire Stephen, Ronald Tari
C: Godfrey Mangau, Kenny Tari, Clement Tommy, Darren Wotu, Womejo Wotu
D: Williamsing Nalisa, Simpson Obed, Obed Yosef
Playing staff members: Bettan Viraliliu (Development), Nono Chilia (Operations)
Training Squad: Jack Nevin, MacMillan Markia, Tony Tamata
Rookie Contracts: Roderick Lekai, Curran Kendrick
Other National Players: Jamal Vira (staff), Andrew Mansale (player/coach), Jarryd Allan (uncontracted)
Prior to July, both men’s and women’s national sides will travel to Fiji in March for the inaugural Pacific Island Cricket Challenge 2023 – an initiative of the Australian Defence Force – each team will compete in a five team T20 event, against Fiji, PNG, Samoa and a combined Australian & New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) side, with matches against the full teams of other countries being full T20 Internationals.
Selections for the Fiji tour will be announced in due course, as will the appointment of a new High-Performance Manager / National Head Coach, with the process ongoing after over 55 applications were received from around the world.