Progression to the next stage of qualification for the 2011 World Cup is the obvious reward, but less visible is the necessity for the sport to maintain its profile back home in Fiji against the all-dominant sevens rugby union.

"If we don't do well it will be hard to keep the game alive," said Kacisolomone.

"We don't have a dedicated cricket ground and even during the cricket season if is difficult to get access to grounds as the demands by sevens rugby union which is played 12 months a year make it difficult."

Irregular television coverage is also presenting obstacles in maintaining the interest amongst Fijian youths.

"Some years back when the 1992 World Cup was shown live in Fiji, Albert Park (Fijian cricket's main ground back then) was full of kids playing cricket. Now, they don't see it on TV and want to play rugby sevens."

There are moves underway for cricket to secure its own ground at the University of South Pacific and there are positive signs with twof Fiji's best younger players prominent in the composite East Asia-Pacific team which played in the Australian Country Championships in January.

More immediately, the challenge will be to beat Japan in tomorrow's match in Brisbane.

A Fijian win is not considered automatic - in a similar tournament two years ago, Fiji sunk to 5-50 chasing a Japan total of around 160 before somehow getting out of jail.

The draw for the tournament is as follows:

Round One 27th Jun, 2006.
Fiji vs Japan Peter Burge Oval

Round Two 28th Jun, 2006.
Fiji vs Cook Islands Peter Burge Oval

Round Three 29th Jun, 2006.
Japan vs Cook Islands Peter Burge Oval

Round Four 30th Jun, 2006.
Japan vs Fiji Peter Burge Oval

Round Five 1st Jul, 2006.
Cook Islands vs Fiji Peter Burge Oval

Round Six 2nd Jul, 2006.
Cook Islands vs Japan Peter Burge Oval