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First Pacific woman to lead NZ indoor cricket team

07 August 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

For the first time, a Pacific woman, will captain the New Zealand Women's Indoor Cricket team at this year's World Cup in Dubai. 

Regina Lili'i, of Samoan descent, has been playing indoor cricket for 11 years and says it's a huge honour to lead the New Zealand squad.

"It's massive for me and I know it's going to be a challenge and it's something I'm looking forward to."

New Zealand Women's Indoor Cricket Captain: Regina Lili'i. Photo/ Facebook: NZ Women's Indoor Cricket.

Their first training camp last week kicked off the preparation season and Lili'i says the ladies are grinding out hard.

"There's a really good vibe about the team and everyone's working hard," she says. "Not everyone is living in the same region so everyone's taking on that responsibility to train as hard as they can and do fitness and all of that."

She's hoping to lead New Zealand to victory by beating current champions, Australia. 

"They're our biggest rivals and obviously winning is our goal but it isn't something that we're 100 per cent focused on at the moment," she says. "You kind of can't be thinking too much ahead. You've got to be thinking of the present game and staying in the moment."

She's also urging more Pacific people to get involved in the sport.

Lili'i wants Pacific people to know their cricket hobbies can be turned into a professional career.

"There is a pathway to professionalism because of the natural talent we have as Islanders," she says.

Regina's mother is from the village of Vaimoso and her father from Le'auva'a in Samoa. 

The 30-year-old says growing up in a big family of 8 children, has taught her how to be a good leader.

"It's taught me a lot about being patient, being more of an observer and learning from not only my mistakes but the mistakes of others around me," she says. "Also having the courage to speak up when I need to and not just mouthing off for the sake of it."

She says it's particularly trained her well to stay calm when the pressure is on.

Lili'i is hoping to lead her team the way her father does, as a high chief in their village in Samoa.

"I've learnt a lot from watching him be the type of leader who leads by example," she says. 

The World Cup will be held in Dubai from September 16 to 23. 

New Zealand Women's Indoor Cricket team. Photo/ Facebook: NZ Women's Indoor Cricket.

Tags: samoa, New Zealand Women's Indoor Cricket, Regina Lili'i, Women's Indoor Cricket World Cup, Vaimoso, Le'auva'a,