THE annual East versus West cricket tournament is back.
Cricket Fiji made the announcement via a statement on Monday saying the tournament was being revived with the aim of giving players a chance to show their worth to the national coach.
"Not only will the tournament re-introduce a friendly rivalry between Fiji's best cricketers, who will fight it out for the JR White/Gray Nicholls Trophy, but Fiji's new national coach, Shane Jurgensen, says he will also use it as a means of refining the current Senior Men's National Squad from 38 down to approximately 24 players," said the statement.
"This will be a two-match series, with game one to be played this Saturday in Suva, and game two to be contested two weeks later in Lautoka, on Saturday July 19."
Cricket Fiji general manager Inoke Lesuma said the tournament would be the first step for players who were vying for a spot in the team to tour India in October, and then contest the East-Asia Pacific qualifiers to regain a spot in the World Cricket League's Division Six.
"It will be a good opportunity for Shane to see our players show their skills in a 50-over match situation," Lesuma said.
"The road to Lismore (where the qualifiers will be held in November) begins from here."
Meanwhile, the Korean Senior Men's team will tour Fiji next week.
The squad of 18 players and officials will be in the country for a 15-day tour, which will comprise a training camp and approximately 10 Twenty20 matches spread between Suva and Lautoka, against the Fiji Senior Men's squad.
The Korean team are treating the tour as their final preparations for the 2014 Asian Games, which will be hosted by Korea this year in the city of Incheon.
Korea Cricket Association executive director and national coach Lee Hwayeon said the tour was their final preparation for the 2014 Asian Games.
"For the players the tour will mean a final check of our strength, conditioning control and performance, through numerous matches against the Fiji team," Lee said.
"We believe that Fiji is one of the strongest cricketing nations in the East-Asia Pacific region, so it will be a good opportunity for the Korean team to try and lift their performance ahead of the Asian Games.
"Also, we have heard that Fijian people are very kind and that Fiji is a fabulous country, so we thought that Fiji would be the perfect place to train."