At a time when the globe is stuck due to the unprecedented outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the fans and the players are left high and dry.
Nonetheless, hope and a sense of warmth come all the way from Vanuatu. ICC reports that the cricket action shall return this weekend in Vanuatu. The match shall feature the best players from throughout the nation. The players shall gather and face each other for a good cause.
With the crisis turning into a pandemic and a nightmare for governments throughout the globe, the health worker and officials stand tall as our first line of defense. However, the picturesque Pacific Island of Vanuatu has emerged as the first country of all heavyweights to control the outbreak to such as extent that cricket is being resumed.
As a result, the domestic cricket shall also resume with the women’s club super league finals day on Saturday i.e. 25th April. The matches shall be live-streamed on the Facebook of the cricket board. The semi-finals shall take place between Power House Sharks and Tafea Black Birds. The winner from the semi-final in the morning shall face Mele Bulls in the finals. They have been undefeated in the competition and have outplayed the other three teams of the tournament.
Interestingly, there will be a men’s exhibition game before the final of the women’s game. The men’s 40-over club championship shall unroll from the following weekend. On 2nd May, seven teams shall fight each other for the title. The Chief Executive Officer of Vanuatu Cricket announced that cricket can be safely resumed in their nation. However, he reassured that the need for social distancing and good hygiene is not to be forgotten and proper care in this regard shall be taken.
Vanuatu has no cases of coronavirus. Nonetheless, the government was active and issued a state of emergency from the 26th of March. The borders ad the flights, however, were terminated a week before. Amidst the fear of the novel COVID virus, the nation was hit by tropical cyclone Harold. It hit the region in April and brought destruction on a wider scale. After the approval and support from the government, the cricket association plans to use this opportunity to aid in cyclone relief.
Residents and businesses from the locality have been urged to deposit clothing and other essentials. These donations shall go to the worst-hit areas from the wrath of a cyclone. The marketing manager of the cricket board highlights that the northern islands of Vanuatu have been devasted by the cyclone and they attempt to give the communities hit badly, a sense of relief.
Notably, Vanuatu ranks 28th among the women and 50th in the ICC T20 rankings. Three players from the national side feature in premier women’s cricket in Australia. The cricketing nation plans to enter into the top 20 clubs of women’s cricket. It is a matter of pride for all fans that the first instance of cricket shall begin by the hands of female players as the world looks to fight the crisis.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.