Of the team that won gold last year, ten players return to this year’s squad for the tournament in Apia.This includes captain Regina Lili’I and current Samoa Cricket development manager and vice-captain, Perelini Mulitalo, who will play in her fifth regional women’s qualifier.The team will also feature several new faces including Faamitai Anitoni, Velder Levaula and Filimaua Malo while Letelesa Autagavia returns to the team for the first time since 2012.Several players from the squad joined New Zealand club teams last season, providing them with excellent preparation in the lead up to the tournament.Two players, Matile Uliao and Lagi Otila Tele’a, also played in the East Asia-Pacific women’s team who won the inaugural Australian Country Cricket Championships in early 2016. Uliao made headlines at the tournament after she took a hat-trick in the EAP’s match against Northern Territory and will be a key bowler again for the Samoan team this tournament.Captain Lili’I knows that all these opportunities will be invaluable for the team this time around. She believes that “every opportunity we get to play cricket, either individually or as a team, helps us to improve and play better quality cricket”.And the expectations from Lili’I of her team are high: “Obviously winning the gold medal was an amazing effort from the girls last year. But now we need to back that up with even better cricket at this tournament because there’s a World Cup Qualifier position at stake.”Samoa will also have a new coach after Ian West stepped down from coaching the team. Sunshine Coast-based coach Brad Murphy has been brought in to fill the role with Taitoe Kaisala as his assistant coach.The 2016 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier – East Asia-Pacific begins in Apia, Samoa, on July 15 and will feature teams from Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Japan. The tournament is a double round robin with the team who finishes on top of the table progressing to the Global Qualifier for the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.
“When a thing is done, it’s done. Don’t look back. Look forward to your next objective.” — Gen. George C. MarshallMarshall commanded the U.S. Army to victory in World War II, then engineered the plan to rebuild Europe in the war’s aftermath. Before all that, he was the commanding officer at Vancouver Barracks.So we’ll take his advice.We can’t actually predict the future (the power of the press isn’t what it used to be), but it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see a few issues that are likely to generate headlines in 2011.In no particular order:CasinoPublic debate over a tribal casino proposed near La Center had quieted considerably in 2010.Then, on Dec. 23, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs granted the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s application to establish a 152-acre reservation near Interstate 5 and build a casino on it.Expect major reverberations in 2011.Opponents have already threatened lawsuits challenging the BIA’s decision. The tribe’s Connecticut-based business partner, Mohegan Tribal Gaming, is straining under $2.1 billion in debt. And the news was unpopular in La Center, where taxes on the city’s four nontribal cardrooms account for about 75 percent of the city’s $4 million in general-fund revenue.Yet the prospect of 4,400 construction jobs over two years may prompt some area politicians to reconsider their previous opposition to a $510 million casino-hotel complex — especially with Clark County’s state-high unemployment rate stuck at 13 percent.