Fiji Time: 2:35 PM on Tuesday 23 December

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Rika seals first cricket sponsorship

Arin Kumar
Friday, June 20, 2014

NATIONAL cricket captain Joe Rika became the first Fijian cricketer to attain a full player sponsorship.

The Cricket Fiji's high performance manager sealed the deal with Craig Bayldon, one of the co-founders of Blue Tongue Sports, on Fiji's Coral Coast on Wednesday.

The deal with the Australian company, owned by Bayldon and fellow Aussie Dennis Papworth, is for two years.

Rika also announced he would be making a comeback to competitive cricket and wants to try out for a place in the senior men's squad next month.

"I have played with this group of guys for so long, and I feel it would be a great way to finish my career by being selected into the team that hopefully re-qualify for the World Cricket League," he said.

Rika said he felt that he was worthy of selection into the team, he owed his cricketing comrades and Fiji his services that he would try and lift the side back into Division Six of the World Cricket League.

The 26-year-old first represented Fiji aged 12 competing in the Under-19 division.

He still holds the record of the highest score scored in a sanctioned Under-19 match, when he made 254 off 147 in a World Cup Qualifier against Japan.

He also remains the highest run-scorer of all-time for Fiji.