24-year-old Nalin Nipiko will take the reins as Vanuatu’s captain, taking over from Andrew Mansale.

Vanuatu Cricket unveiled their new skipper this morning via Twitter, with Napiko thanking them for the opportunity to lead the country.

“I’d like to thank the VCA for giving me the honour to take on this role as the new captain of Vanuatu.

“I’d like to say that I will do my best to take the team to another level like the other captains have done in the past.

“I’d like to say thank you to all our supporters in Vanuatu and around the world for their continued support in previous years until today.

“My appointment as the new captain of Vanuatu is the biggest achievement of my cricketing career.”

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Nipiko made waves in Vanuatu cricket back in 2011, Making 62 against Ireland during the U19 World Cup Qualifier. Since moving into the senior ranks, Nipiko has become a key figure with ball and bat. He claimed the Player of the Match award in the Pacific Games Gold Medal Match despite being on the losing side, taking 4-29 and making 33 with the bat against PNG in Apia back in July.

Andrew Mansale stepped down from the role last week, after a decade in the hot seat. He will continue on as a player in the national team, but insisted it was time for someone else to take over.

“It was an honour to be able to captain the Vanuatu National Men’s Cricket team for as long as I did and I feel that I have had a good run but I also feel that it is time to hand over the captaincy to one of the younger guys with fresh ideas and with the capacity to continue taking Vanuatu Cricket forward.”

Vanuatu compete in the Cricket World Cup Challenge League, with their next matches in the competition held in March next year.

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