21 Jul 2011

Sport: New Caledonia's cricketers eye up ICC status ahead of Pacific Games

10:18 am on 21 July 2011

Some of New Caledonia's top cricketers have spent the week in Fiji honing their craft as the territory eyes up joining the international arena.

With Noumea to host the regions top cricketing nations in a Twenty20 competition at the Pacific Games, local officials are exploring the possibility of becoming an ICC Affiliate Member.

They'll round out their Fijian stopover on Saturday by playing two T20 matches against a Fiji Presidents XI in Lautoka.

Cricket Fiji's High Performance Manager, Steve Jenkins, who's been working with the team, says the team does have some talent.

"Very good at the basic skills: catching, running between wickets, their bowling has improved. They actually have some talented players. Ten of their better players have stayed in New Caledonia due to work commitments. They've got a couple of players here that would be inside their top eleven but probably seeing most of the players from number 12 through to 26."

Steve Jenkins says, like many Pacific nations, the batsmen tend to play well off the front foot but need to work on their back foot game.