Starry-eyed Fiji look to make a splash in first WC

Saimoni Tuitoga – “We are very excited to be in this big event. Back at home, everyone knows that we are going to take part in the biggest event of the U-19 level” © AFP

Fiji Under-19 captain Saimoni Tuitoga has spoken of his excitement in taking part in what he believes is “a big opportunity” for the team.

Fiji are competing in the Under-19 World Cup for the very first time, and perhaps it was to put Tuitoga’s mind to ease that he was being accompanied to the press conference room by their head coach Shane Jurgensen, who is no stranger to Bangladesh.

“We are very excited to be in this big event,” Tuitoga said. “Back at home, everyone knows that we are going to take part in the biggest event of the U-19 level. It is going to be a tough challenge for the boys. We are looking forward to play the first match against England. We are training hard.”

Raju Rijal, Nepal Under-19’s wicketkeeper-batsman who was also at the press conference, was comparatively less shy. Rijal revealed that his team had been training in India to prepare for the tournament following last year’s earthquake in Nepal.

“We had a huge disaster in Nepal last year. We have prepared in Himachal Pradesh, and we will try our best in this tournament. I can’t think too much ahead in the tournament. We will try to do it game-by-game. We will try our level best,” he said.

Rijal said that he was a fan of Paras Khadka, the captain of Nepal’s senior side, with whom the U-19 team has sometimes shared training facilities. He added that Shakib Al Hasan was another player he followed closely.

“Paras Khadka is very good as a person, as a cricketer. They practice with us sometimes in the stadium. We also chat at times.

“We follow Bangladesh’s matches. We started together but Bangladesh have risen very high. They have many stadiums and host so many events. We can’t afford this in Nepal. We are inspired by Bangladesh. My favorite cricketer in the Bangladesh team is Shakib Al Hasan.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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