Rabici Lesuma (Ratu Joni Atonio Rabici) was one of 27 players to be named in Cricket Fiji’s East-Asia Pacific (EAP) Twenty20 squad, which will contest the qualifiers to regain entry into the World Cricket League later in 2014. As one of ten players named who is eligible to play for Fiji but currently based overseas, we took a look at Rabici’s unique story.Twenty-three-year-old Rabici said he was, humbled to be selected in the preliminary EAP T20 squad.
“I will give it my best shot,the profile of Cricket Fiji is important to me and I will do my best to maintain it’s good name and history,” he added.
Rabici was also very modest when it came to his cricket stats, and in fact as an accomplished athlete across multiple sports, he barely got a look in, until recently when Cricket Fiji saw his name on cricketarchive.com.
The right-handed batsman played for Tasmania in the 2006/07 Commonwealth Bank Under-17 Championship Series, which included current Australian team members James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc and James Pattison, as well as a few first-crickets cricketers, currently playing in the Australian domestic competition. His highest score during this series was 83 runs.
During his teenage years in Tasmania, he attended Launceston Church Grammar School (LCGS), and was elected the 162th Head Boy (Co-Captain) of the school in 2007. LCGS has a history of producing a strong cricketing pedigree, with former students who have gone on to play for Australia including David Boon, George Bailey and James Faulkner.
Rabici was also named Vice-Captain of the school’s 1st XI in the same year, with his top-score for the season being 125. At club level in Tasmania he represented Launceston Cricket Club, with his highest scores for the club being 200* in Under-16s, and 192 in first grade senior cricket.
After completing his final year of schooling in 2007, Rabici went to Terrington Hall Prep School in North Yorkshire, England, working as a teacher’s assistant for a year. During his time in England he played for Hovingham Cricket Club, top-scoring with 101 for the club in his debut English season.
Now Rabici lives in Sydney, and is in his final year of a six-year double degree in Aerospace Engineering and International Relations at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). He is also an accomplished rugby and hockey player, and was named UNSW’s 2009 Sportsman of the Year, and in 2008 and 2009 was the recipient of the prestigious Rugby Union Awards at New College, UNSW. Ewen McKenzie, the current Wallabies coach, was also the recipient of the same Rugby Union Award in 1986.
Hopefully for Fiji, this intelligent, talented and commitment young man will devote his time to playing cricket for his country of birth after graduating.