Samoa’s captain Ben Mailata, is hoping for a top two finish at the I.C.C. Men’s World T20 Qualifier – East Asia Pacific Group A.
Samoa will play their opening match against PNG, a challenge which Mailata is relishing and said he “wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Mailata will be leading his country for a fourth tournament in a row which comes with heavy expectations.
However, their coach Tim Carter is “hoping that our new players will have a big impact in this tournament.”
“We have several new players in the squad but I expect our senior players to stand up and perform to allow our younger team members to have the opportunity to soak up the experience of being involved in international cricket,” he continued.
Uili Sofi Tanimo, a left arm fast bowler who recently played for Samoa in the Under 19 World Cup Qualifier last year is set to make his first appearance for the Samoa senior men’s team in this tournament and Carter believes that he can perform well.
Mailata believes that each individual in the Samoan team is accountable for their preparation towards the tournament with their players based in Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.
“We have made it no secret that our team never gets enough time to assemble prior to a tournament and on most occasions the team assembles at the venue of a tournament but I believe all our players have taken accountability to ensure that they are best prepared for the upcoming tournament,” he said.
“Every tournament is a chance for Samoan based players to gain experience and playing against PNG in our opening match will give us a gauge to see where we are at,” Mailata concluded.
Samoa will take on PNG, Vanuatu and hosts Fiji in the tournament commencing on August 25th.
The top two teams will progress to the ICC World T20 – EAP Regional Final in 2019 with the winner of that progressing to the Global Qualifier for the 2020 ICC World T20.