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Edo wins National Men’s Cricket Championship

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Edo State is gradually becoming Nigeria’s cricket hub, with its teams dominating national discussions.

Recently, the state hosted and led South South region to victory at the National U-17 men and women championship, while its women dominated the recent South-South Women League.

Yesterday, Edo State men’s team outran their Kaduna State counterparts by 57 runs to add the National Men’s Cricket Championship trophy to the state’s trophy chest.

After the final game played in Benin City, Team Captain, Peter Aho, a prominent member of the National U-19 Cricket team to last year’s World Cup in South Africa, said the team owed their victory to discipline and the huge measure of support that they enjoyed from the Edo State Cricket Association.

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“We give the glory to God and we thank all our mentors and the leadership of the Edo State Cricket Association that have sacrificed and encouraged the team to this height, we dedicate this victory to them,” he said.

Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) President, Professor Yahaya Ukwenya, said the event has served its purpose. “We set out to, among other things use this event as a platform for the best players in the country to showcase their skills.”

Ukwenya said apart from the impressive displays, the opportunity to have more players drawn into the pool to be camped for the national assignments that the country would be involved in later in the year is very key.

“The national coach, Asanka (Gurusinha), has watched every matched of this encounter with a team of selectors, and soon our national camp will open for the assignments ahead with some new players invited based on their performance here.”

Team Kaduna finished as runner up while Lagos finished in third place.

Mustapha Yussuff (of Lagos) was named the bowler of the series for bowling 16 wickets in four matches. Edo’s Selim Salau and Kaduna’s Isaac Okpe were adjudged the Fielder and Batsman of the event, while Sylvester Okpe, the captain of the runner up team, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Championship.

Kofi Sagoe, the newly re-appointed Chairman of Lagos State Cricket Association, who was one of the selectors at the event, said it has put some players under the spotlight; a development, which he said, would enrich the base of the national team.

The National Men’s Championship started with eight teams grouped into Pools A and B (Lagos, Edo, Kwara, Anambra, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Rivers and Oyo). It was flagged off on March 22 and concluded yesterday.

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