THE national cricket side faced a major setback in their bid to win the ICC East Asia Pacific T20 Cricket Senior men's tournament in Auckland, New Zealand.
After their 78 run victory over the Cook Islands on Monday, team manager Sonny Henderson revealed to Times Sport that three key players were injured. Among the three is national captain Josefa Rika. The other two players are Iniasi Cakacaka and Jone Wesele.
"Joe Rika suffered an ankle injury while Iniasi pulled a hamstring and Jone is nursing a back injury," he said.
Yesterday was a rest day for the teams and Henderson said the players were to be reviewed last night. "It's a rest day here so the players will get a good rest after winning three matches in row.
"We need the services of our key players because we will be facing Papua New Guinea in our next match."
PNG are the defending champions of the tournament and the best ranked country in the region.
"This will be a really crucial match for us and we hope our players recover by next morning because we are unbeaten and PNG is unbeaten and we need to beat them if we want to qualify for the finals.
"The PNG match will definitely be the toughest match so far and we hope to face them head on after a good rest today (yesterday)," Henderson said.
Fiji, PNG and Vanuatu have six points each as they have won three matches each, however, Fiji is leading with a better nett run rate of +4.786 compared to second placed PNG who have +4.067 and Vanuatu on third with +2.719.
The Fiji versus PNG match starts at 9.30am (Fiji time) today at Ground 2 of Waikaraka Park in Auckland.