Samoa women's national cricket team
|Association||Samoa International Cricket Association|
|International Cricket Council|
|ICC status||Affiliate member (2000)|
|ICC region||East Asia-Pacific|
|Women's international cricket|
Samoa vs. Fiji |
(Apia; 2 February 2010)
|As of 26 November 2015|
The Samoan women's national cricket team, nicknamed the Nafanua, represents the Independent State of Samoa in international women's cricket. It is organised by the game's governing body in the country, the Samoa International Cricket Association (SICA).
Although women's cricket has a long history in Samoa, the national team was only formally organised in 2010, with assistance from a New Zealand association, Auckland Cricket. The team has often included Samoan expatriate players based in Australia and New Zealand (including some who have played for state or provincial teams), which has presented difficulties in training. Samoa's first regional tournament came later in 2010, and it has since regularly participated in ICC East Asia-Pacific events, generally ranking behind only Japan and Papua New Guinea in the region. Its most notable achievement is winning the gold medal in the women's tournament at the 2015 Pacific Games. The team is currently coached by Ian West, an Englishman who gained Samoan citizenship through his wife, and subsequently played for the Samoan men's team. As of May 2015[update], one unofficial ranking system places Samoa 27th in the world, behind Kenya.
In April 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) granted full Women's Twenty20 International (WT20I) status to all its members. Therefore, all Twenty20 matches played between Samoa women and another international side after 1 July 2018 will be a full WT20I.
Cricket has been played in Samoa since the 19th century, when it was introduced by British traders and missionaries. It flourished despite a ban during the period of the German protectorate, from 1900 to 1914. Historically, the sport has been most popular when played under the modified rules known as kilikiti. However, since the early 2000s, when Samoa gained affiliate membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its men's national team debuted interally (in 2000 and 2001, respectively), the standard form of cricket has begun to replace kilikiti in popularity.
The Samoan women's team played its first international matches in February 2010, when Fiji toured to play a three-match series at Apia's Faleata Oval (in the Tuanaimato area). Fiji were also playing their first internationals. A major impetus for the establishment of a woman's team was its status as a requirement for associate membership of the ICC, to which SICA aspires. Samoa, captained by Perelini Mulitalo, went on to win the series 3–0, and consequently qualified as the third team (after Japan and Papua New Guinea) for the 2010 EAP Trophy in Japan, the team's first major tournament.
Samoa went on to lose all three of its matches at the EAP Trophy, a 50-over tournament, with their closest game being a 12-run loss to Japan in the qualifying final. Their captain there was Mindy Hodgson, a former representative of the Wellington Blaze in New Zealand domestic cricket. However, the Samoans were more successful at their next regional tournament, the 2012 EAP Women's Championship in Port Vila, Vanuatu. That tournament was played using the Twenty20 format, with the winner progressing to the 2013 World Twenty20 Qualifier in Ireland). The three teams from the 2010 tournament were joined by the Cook Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu. Samoa won all of its group-stage matches (played only against the three newcomers), but lost its semi-final against Papua New Guinea, eventually placing third after defeating Vanuatu in the third-place playoff.
At the 2014 EAP Women's Championship in Japan (a qualifier for the 2015 World Twenty20 Qualifier), Samoa again placed third after losing a semi-final to Papua New Guinea, with their opponent in the third-place playoff being the Cook Islands. The team's tournament was marked by several instances of individual brilliance, most notably an innings of 104 (from 74 balls) by Moelagi Tuilagi in the playoff, the first century in an EAP Twenty20 event. Samoa's captain, Auckland Hearts player Regina Lili'i, was named both player of the tournament and captain of the team of the tournament. Lili'i was one of three Samoan players with experience in the New Zealand State League, the others being Hana Mauafu (Canterbury Magicians) and Madeleine Chapman (Wellington Blaze). In July 2015, Samoa won the gold medal in the women's tournament at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, becoming the first country outside of Papua New Guinea to win gold in Pacific Games cricket.
EAP Women's Championship
- 2010: 3rd place (3 teams)
- 2012: 3rd place (6 teams)
- 2014: 3rd place (5 teams)
- 2016: 2nd place (3 teams)
- 2015: Gold medal (6 teams)
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- Shane Booth. Women's One Day International Ratings – Shane's Cricket Ratings. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- "All T20I matches to get international status". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
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- Other women's matches played by Samoa Women – CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 June.
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- Mindy Hodgson – CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- (30 April 2012). "Squads Named For Women's ICC EAP T20 Championship" – Cricket World. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- ICC East Asia-Pacific Women's Championship 2012 table – CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- ICC East Asia-Pacific Women's Championship 2012 – CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- (12 May 2014). "Sport: PNG Lewas win EAP Women's Trophy" – Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- (13 May 2014). "Sport: Samoa captain Lili'I named player of tournament" – Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
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- Women's East Asia-Pacific Trophy 2010 – CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 June.
- ICC East Asia-Pacific Women's Championship 2012 – CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 June.
- ICC East Asia-Pacific Women's Championship 2014 – CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 June.