Australian Indigenous cricket tour to Vanuatu

The Australian Men’s and Women’s Indigenous Cricket teams concluded their inaugural tour of Vanuatu earlier in May. With matches wrapping up on Tuesday 9 May, the Vanuatu teams can be proud of their achievements coming out with one victory in the men’s draw, and close contents across the other games.

Supported through the Australian Government’s PacificAus Sports partnership with Cricket Australia, the tour was the National Indigenous teams’ first to Vanuatu.

The tour delivers on a key priority set out in Cricket Australia’s strategic plan, Where the Game Grows, to support the growth of cricket globally including in emerging cricketing countries.

With a population of 300,000, Vanuatu has over 25,000 cricket participants, and their men’s and women’s national cricket teams are the country’s highest-ranked sporting sides.

Along with the on-field action, the teams enjoyed cross-cultural sharing and learning, which included an official welcome from representatives from the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs at Port Vila Airport, a Melanesian Night, and a closing function hosted at the Australian High Commissioner’s Residence by Her Excellency Ms Heidi Bootle, Australian High Commissioner in Vanuatu.

The tour was also able to showcase the passion and dedication for the game from those in Vanuatu, and shows the potential of the Pacific nation in the sport.

Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Nick Hockley, said:

“Congratulations to those selected for the national men’s and women’s Indigenous teams for what was an exciting international tour that delivers a key priority for Australian Cricket to support the growth of global cricket.

“Our thanks also goes toto the Australian Government’s PacificAus Sports partnership and to CommBank, who are providing some of the best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players the opportunity to represent their country and culture in the Pacific whilst developing their skills at an elite level.”

Vanuatu Cricket’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cutler, said:

“We are overjoyed to finally host this historic tour.

“The concept was originally conceived pre-pandemic and we are very appreciative of Cricket Australia and the Australian Government, through PacificAus Sports, for their continued support for the project despite the challenges of COVID. A huge thanks also goes to the Australian High Commission here; they’ve been amazing in helping plan for this momentous tour.

“We are honoured to welcome the first representative Cricket Australia team to Vanuatu and look forward to celebrating with some entertaining cricket as well as providing valuable opportunities for cultural exchanges between the touring squads and the broader local community.”