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Vanuatu skipper's field of dreams: Test for his country or Twenty20 glory

Andrew Mansale dreams of one day playing a Test match, or getting a Big Bash League contract, but the Vanuatu and East-Asia Pacific captain realises it might never happen.

The 25-year-old all-rounder is in Canberra representing East-Asia Pacific in the Australian Country Cricket Championships, which start on Tuesday. Canberra is hosting the competition despite no ACT team playing.

The country championships have produced three Test cricketers and 10 one-day-international representatives, and Mansale would love to add his name to the list that includes Michael Bevan and Andy Bichel.

However, that would require Vanuatu to gain Test status or to qualify for a World Cup.

The off-spinner and top-order batsman spent last summer playing for Broadmeadows in Melbourne and is spending this summer with Auckland club Eden Roskill. This means Mansale plays cricket all year round because the Vanuatu season is in our winter.

Vanuatu plays against countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Argentina, but not at a high enough level to play against Australia.


Mansale dreams of the day this will change. He would love to test himself in the fast-and-furious world of Australia's Twenty20 Big Bash League.

''To be honest, that's a big call and it would be a great honour if [Vanuatu plays Test cricket], but for us [to do that in future], there's a lot of work that needs to be done,'' Mansale said.

Mansale got into the Vanuatu side at just 16 years old and cricket has been his life ever since.

He is a cricket development adviser with the Vanuatu Cricket Association and works in schools developing the next crop of youngsters to come through and hopefully help Vanuatu climb up the rankings towards full status.

East-Asia Pacific begins its Country Championships campaign against South Australia, which it has beaten four times in seven games, at Phillip's Football Park on Tuesday.