Amid COVID-19 crisis, live cricket resumes in Vanuatu

Port Vila, April 25 (IANS) The beautiful Pacific Island of Vanuatu on Saturday became the first country in the world where the situation has been brought under control amid the coronavirus pandemic and cricketing activities have resumed.

Domestic cricket in the country resumed with the women’s club super T20 league, the matches of which were livestreamed on Vanuatu Cricket’s Facebook page.

The day began with Power House Sharks thrashing Tafea Blackbird in the semi-final and set up a summit clash with Mele Bulls. In the final however, Mele Bulls defeated Power House Sharks and were crowned champions of the four-team competition.

A men’s exhibition game was also played before the women’s matches.

The men’s 40-over club championship will begin on May 2, with seven teams competing for the title, reports ICC.

Vanuatu are ranked 28th among women in the ICC T20I Rankings and 50th among the men’s teams. Three players from their national team feature in premier women’s cricket in Australia, and the association, Vanuatu Cricket, holds the long-term aim to continue their commitment to women’s cricket and push the team into the top 20 in the world.

Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometres. It has no cases of the coronavirus. The government had issued a state of emergency from March 28, with borders closed and flights stopped a week before that. However, tropical cyclone (TC) Harold hit the region in early April, causing widespread destruction.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic which has so far claimed more than 1.9 lakh lives across the world, a spate of series and tournaments, including the IPL 2020, Australia’s tour of Bangladesh, South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh’s tour of Ireland, West Indies tour of England and others have been postponed.