Yabaki first Fijian cricketer to gain overseas contract

Caption:  Viliame Yabaki is congratulated on taking the wicket. Photo: SUPPLIED

Fijian all-rounder, Viliame Yabaki, will depart for Australia this week, after securing a six-month contract with Melbourne-based cricket club, the Boroondara Cobras.

The 22-year-old, who has been a member of the Fijian national side since 2009, has secured the first contract of its kind by a Fijian cricketer.  It is the first time a Fijian player will be payed to play cricket overseas, with the Cobras covering his travel expenses, accommodation and living allowance, to the value of $15,000 FJD for the six-month period.

The right-arm leg-spinner and right-hand batsman played at the Cobras, based in the prestigious inner-eastern suburb of Hawthorn and competing in the Eastern Cricket League, in 2011, and they were keen to get him back for another season.

“He’s a good player and a good kid,” said Cricket Fiji’s High Performance Manager, Joe Rika, about the effort the Cobras had gone to to secure Yabaki for another season.  “We really appreciate the effort put in by Boroondara.  All of the work (to secure his visa) was done by them.”

Whilst Rika acknowledges that securing a payed contract will obviously be beneficial personally for Yakabi, the most important thing for Fijian cricket is to have another player playing at a high level in Australia.

“This is what will be of the most benefit to us,” Rika explained.  “We hope Yabaki has a good season, and can bring back with him what he learns in Australia to Cricket Fiji, to help us get back into (World Cricket League) Division 6 in 2014.”

Yabaki, originally from Moce, an island known for it’s strong cricketing prowess in the Lau group, also works as a Development Officer at Cricket Fiji.


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