CAPTION: William Nawai with John Davison.
By LAURA MACINTOSH
Fiji’s Under-19 team have had a designated rest day in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) East-Asia Pacific region (EAP) U19 Trophy today, as Vanuatu took on Samoa.
Instead the Fiji team hit the nets for training, and were privileged to have their training overseen by John Davison, spin-bowling consultant with both Queensland Cricket and Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.
Davison played first-class cricket for both Victoria and South Australia, and also played international cricket for Canada. Although he primarily consults on spin-bowling programs, he also has considerable knowledge with the bat, having previously held the record for scoring the fastest century in World Cup cricket.
Davison said that across all of the EAP teams he could see a lot of natural talent, but felt that the players were at a disadvantage to those from other cricketing nations, who grew up with more exposure to international cricket.
“When you compare them to Indian kids who grow up immersed in cricket and watching their heroes play they get good models and they learn from watching them play,” Davison explained. “It’s a lot more difficult for the EAP guys to pick up the skills by emulating someone.”
Davison was particularly interested in the form of Fiji’s U19 vice-captain, William Nawai, who switched to spin bowling from being a medium-pacer only six months ago.
“He’s the biggest and strongest off-spinner I’ve ever seen,” Davison said. “He’s got big fingers, he’s got good attributes to bowl it (spin)…Considering he’s only been doing it for six months…there’s a lot of potential there.”
In the result of today’s match, Vanuatu downed Samoa by 7 wickets, taking the to the top of the leader board in the ICC EAP U19 Trophy.
Tomorrow was scheduled to be a rest day for all teams, but due to the wash out on Monday’s game, Vanuatu will once again play Samoa.