Not everyone can be winners in a tournament but you can always be a winner in your own way.
For team Japan who was one of three teams who took part in the I.C.C. Women’s East Asia Pacific Cricket World Cup Qualifier Tournament, although they did not make the cut this time round, they are still satisfied with their accomplishments.
After a great tournament and a great experience in Samoa, the Teams Coach, Nicole Martin told Samoa Observer that her team will not be returning to Japan empty handed.
“This has been a great experience for the girls and me,” she said.
“We have learnt a lot in the short time that we’ve been here, a few of the girls are actually new and this is their first time playing for Japan so we’re making the most of it and taking the opportunities.
“For me personally, one of the challenges was coming from Australia and coaching the Japanese team; learning the Japanese culture wasn’t easy.
“While we were setting up for the tournament I have set up a few new goals for the girls to work on and we also worked working better as a team and executing our skills.”
According to Ms. Martin, although this tournament proved to be a tough one, it also proved to be a great learning experience for her and her girls.
“There is certainly a lot of talent around in this tournament,” she said.
“P.N.G. have won by being victorious in their first three games; there are certainly a lot of talent in that team; Samoa have also been really strong competitors.”
“For me this tournament is mostly about learning what my girls can and can’t do.
“We are working on individual areas that need fixing; we will be taking with us a lot of experience from the tournament and hopefully my girls will stick together after this and develop as players.
“Back in Japan we are just trying to get as much media coverage as possible; social media is really helping so the players can take their experience back and help develop junior players coming in through the ranks.
“The sport is certainly growing in Japan but we want it to grow a little bit more and this tournament will provide an opportunity to go back to their clubs and hopefully show what they learnt.
“Unfortunately we haven’t got a win but like I said, we have set many individual goals that we would like to achieve.”
According to Ms. Martin, aside from the great tournament, Samoa has left a lasting impression on team Japan.
“Samoa has been really good to us and the weather has been kind to us and staff here has shown a lot of support with everything we required,” she said.
“Samoa is a beautiful place and I’m hoping to return; we went to the To Sua trench and Lalomanu which was really nice.
“The girls also went to a school clinic yesterday and got to work with Samoan children and my team really enjoyed it; that was probably their highlight of this trip.
“We went to a village where women play and we had a traditional game of cricket which was a great opportunity.
“Thank you Samoa for hosting us, it was a great opportunity to be here and I hope we can return in the near future; the people and the staff have been very hospitable.”