All-rounder, Nalin Nipiko, was given the captaincy of the Vanuatu men's national cricket team by the cricket board of the country on November 11. The captain's armband was passed on to Nipiko from Andrew Mansale who captained the national team in 14 T20 matches before stepping down from the captaincy role. The ICC(International Cricket Council) stated that Mansale felt it was the right time to pass on the torch to a young player.
Andrew Mansale stated that it was an honor for him to be the captain of the Vanuatu National Cricket team for as long as he could and was of the feeling that he had a decent run but it was the right time to hand over the reigns to a young player who would have fresh ideas to table and have the capability to take Vanuatu Cricket forward and in the right direction.
Mansale said that he will miss a lot of things such as making decisions on the field, naming the playing Xl of the team and having discussions with the coaches. He added that the thing he will miss the most is of leading the team out on the field but said that the right decision has been taken and the future is looking bright for the team.
Vanuatu recently took part in the ICC CWC Challenge League Group A but finished at the last position in the tournament, However, they managed to pull off a victory against Malaysia, bowling out the entire team for a total of 52 runs after setting up a mere target of 66 runs. Nipiko also scored his best List A score, bagging 77 runs in 96 balls against Singapore.
The 24-year-old cricketer made his T20 debut against Papua New Guinea in March 2019 and was also named in the squad for the Regional Finals of the 2018-19 World Twenty20 East Asia-Pacific Qualifier tournament where he scored 124 runs and bagged 5 wickets in 4 matches. He has played in a total of 14 T20 matches and has scored 312 runs with an average of 26.00 and has bagged 24 wickets to his credit.
(With inputs from agencies)