Anambra win Anosike South-East Cricket Championship
Anambra State has emerged double winners in the male and female categories of the Chuma Anosike Cup Cricket Championship concluded at St. Paul’s University, Awka, the state capital on Sunday.
Anambra State’s male cricket team, captained by Somto Okafor, beat Enugu State, represented by University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC), to lift the 10th edition of the championship trophy in the male category.
The tension-packed final tie between Anambra and Enugu male teams saw Enugu batting first in the first inning, scoring 77 runs in 19.1 overs.In the second inning, Anambra State scored 81 runs for the loss of seven wickets in 13.1 overs.
The Okafor-led team came stronger, bludgeoned by cacophony of cheering voices, won three wickets to emerge overall male team ahead of Enugu, (second), Abia (third) and Ebonyi (fourth)
Similarly, the Anambra State female team defeated the Miracle Nwigboji-captained defending champion, Ebonyi, to lift the female trophy also donated by the sponsor, Chuma Anosike, a lawyer.
In the first inning, Anambra State female team batted first, scoring 41 runs in 10 overs for the loss of three wickets.In the second inning, Anambra female team scored 42 runs for the loss of six wickets in 8.4 overs.
Anambra and Ebonyi teams were the only female teams in the tourney and played tripartite games to determine the champion and Anambra emerged after the third game.
Speaking after the presentation of awards and cash prizes to deserving wieners and supporters, the sponsor of the tournament, Anosike said the joy of the championship was in participation and thanked both the winners and losers for making it possible.
Anosike described the tournament, in its 10th edition, as a child of circumstance, noting that in 2011 when it started only three states – Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi took part.
He pointed out that the tournament has come of age and paid its dues to become a national championship.Describing cricket as a gentleman’s game, Anosike enjoined the players, officials and enthusiasts to imbibe the spirit of cricket which entails discipline, value and fair-play.
He debunked the erroneous impression that cricket game is an elitist game, even as he lamented dearth of facilities including equipment, and other support structures like administration, coaches and umpires.
In his goodwill message, the President of Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), Professor Yahaya Ukwenya, hailed the sponsor for keeping faith with the championship for 10 years, saying the tournament is the highest cricket championship in the history of South-East, Nigeria,
Ukwenya appreciated the sponsor in particular for providing a forum for discovery and exposure of budding talents, who, he said, have become quality players like Charles Obasi and Sam Mba, among others.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Anambra State Sports Development Commission, Tony Oli thanked Anosike for deeming it fit to sponsor the event, which Anambra State hosted, and won.
Oli promised to solve the major problem facing the organizers by facilitating the donation of a playground for the championship to show readiness of the state to bring cricket home.
In a remark, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, John Abang appreciated the sponsor and organizers for a job well done, pointing out the police have keyed into cricket as a game, hence its introduction in the last Police Games hosted by the state.
Awards were presented for outstanding performances namely: Batman of the series – Somto Okafor; Cricketer of the series/Bowler of the series – Chijioke Okeke; Wicket keeper of the series – Paschal Okoro; Best behaved team of the series – and Youngest Player of the series – Ejiofor Chiemeziem, from Owerri, Imo State, aged 10 years.
From 2011 to 2020, the champions of the tournament were: Enugu (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018.Anambra won in 2013, 2019 and 2020 male editions as well 200 female edition.Imo state has won in 2017 while Ebonyi won in 2019 female category.