By CHRIS DANIELS
As the Black Cap cricketers continue their bad run, our national selectors could have done worse than spend some time at Waitakere Stadium where, over the past few days, New Zealand have won the inaugural World Cup of Kilikiti.
The K Blacks won a three-games final against American Samoa, 2-1. Keti Sannrivi, of the K Blacks, was voted the most valuable player.
Kilikiti, played with a solid rubber ball and three-sided bats, is not about finely crafted defensive strokes. Big hitting is the name of the game.
Pula'au Pilitati, chief executive of the World Kilikiti Federation, said regional variations of the game required rules to be agreed for the first World Cup.
Each of the countries involved drew up their own rules for eligibility for the West Auckland event.
Nations such as Niue and the Tokelau Islands, which have more people living in New Zealand than they do at home, allowed New Zealand residents to represent them.
Despite a difficult time attracting sponsorship, the World Cup was able to offer top prizemoney of $US10,000 ($22,400), with the assistance of a money-transfer company, Xpresstrac.
Rules of the game are fairly simple. A team of 20 bat for half-an-hour, or less if they are bowled out.
The chasing team then have the same number of deliveries to beat that score.
Catches, runouts and lbw rules are enforced, but fantastic big-scoring hits are the norm.
Pula'au Pilitati said kilikiti was often played in a social setting, but the big prizemoney at the World Cup had meant that teams took the event very seriously.