(CricketEurope) How did you learn about cricket as a youngster?
(Joe Rika) My old man introduced me into the sport when I was 10.
(CricketEurope) What has been your favourite innings for Fiji so far in your career?
(Joe Rika) My highest score was 253 in an under 19 match against Japan but my favorite would have to be my 50 not out against Cook Islands on Debut.
(CricketEurope) What about your favourite team performance?
(Joe Rika) Our win over Jersey in the 2008 WCL Division 4 tournament because we lost to them in the friendly and opening match but beat them in the play-offs.
(CricketEurope) Earlier this year you represented EAP at the Australian Country Cricket Championships. What is the standard of that competition like for those who have never seen one of the games?
(Joe Rika) It's quite strong with a few 1st class players from around Australia playing so yeah it kinda has that professional experience to it that makes you feel honored to be playing in a tournament like that.
(CricketEurope) And before that you had a stint playing club cricket in Australia. It must be tough being away from friends and family but on the other hand it's a good experience?
(Joe Rika) Mate! It was hard leaving family and friends behind but it was the best cricketing choice I ever made because it made me into a better cricketer because of the attitude the players at my club showed during games or training. It was really great and real professional.
(CricketEurope) And what about batting on turf pitches. Is it difficult to make the transition?
(Joe Rika) Not really. I've played on turf a bit but yeah it does take a while to get used to.
(CricketEurope) And now Fiji are set to travel to Nepal shortly for WCL Div 5. This is a cricket mad country now days. Against the home team there will be 10000-15000 people in the ground and thousands more watching on TV throughout Nepal. I imagine things are a bit more laid back in Fiji?
(Joe Rika) Mate we don't get big crowds to watch cricket in Fiji so we are expecting a bit of noise which will be new to us but I must say that we love the attention.
(CricketEurope) This is the strongest Fijian side I have seen since I started following cricket in the region and some good younger players have been included also. How do you rate Fiji's chances against strong sides like Nepal, USA, Singapore, Jersey and the Pakistani expat based Bahrain?
(Joe Rika) It is a young side but I'm telling people now that we aren't bringing over a development side because we are coming there to win and although we know it won't be easy if we put the hard work in, the results will show for themselves.
(CricketEurope) As captain, you've got plenty of bowling options at your disposal. I've heard that Sakaraia Lomani, Tukana Tavo and Lee Waqa are quick enough to give most batsmen a tough time?
(Joe Rika) We have them 3 for pace but I guess for the type of wickets in Nepal, its how you use them and when that really counts but yeah, these boys worked hard the past year and are looking forward to doing well in Nepal.
(CricketEurope) And nearly every player bats quite well also?
(Joe Rika) That's an advantage of being a Fijian I guess. Everyone just loves to bat and when the time comes I'm sure my boys will do quite well.
(CricketEurope) Finally. Looking further ahead. What would you like to achieve in cricket from a personal level in the next 10 years?
(Joe Rika) Earning a contract overseas and coming back to Fiji to give back to the sport that took me to many countries around the world and also to one day play in a cricket World Cup!