ICC commends NCF for hosting successful T20 World Cup qualifiers
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has expressed its satisfaction with the management capacity of the current board of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), which hosted the just-concluded ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers in Lagos.
According to ICC Development Manager, Africa, Mrs. Patricia Kambarami, who is in Nigeria to oversee tournament, what the NCF put up during the eight-day tournament was far above the benchmark set for hosting the event.
“When Nigeria bidded to host this event, we had doubts and that was based on what I saw when I came around in December 2017. We felt four months was too short to tick all the boxes required to host an ICC event of this nature; but they kept pushing and eventually got it.
“Coming to this event, all of us in ICC were more than surprised to see the state they have been able to put the facility and the level of coordination, enthusiasm and openness among this present crop of Nigeria Cricket board. I must say the state of the Cricket Oval in Lagos now can match a lot of international grounds. I just hope it they don’t rest here,” she said.
In response to Kambarani, Mr. Kofi Sagoe, who is the Vice Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the just concluded event that featured Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and host Nigeria, said the federation was focused and willing to do all in its capacity to extend the game’s popularity among Nigerian.
“We have been somewhere better than where we are now. I am equally glad that we have some focused and passionate Cricketers who are determined to get Nigeria back to a prime spot in global Cricket.
“The quality of game and organization that we had at the ICC World T20 Africa Qualifier was made possible by the dedication of the present board and some sponsors that are currently giving us huge support including, Lagos State Government, Transport Services Limited, Eroton Exploration and Production and Visionscape.”
Kofi is happy with the opportunity to host the ICC World T20 Africa ‘A’ Qualifier Tournament, which, according to him, is a win-win situation for the country in terms of facilities upgrade and the opportunity it gave players to get quality games under their belt. “But the bigger beneficiary has to be Club Cricket Committee League, who are the organizers of cricket league in the country and it is also the main pool where national team players are selected.”
The eight-day event, which ran from April 14 to 21, saw Ghana putting up a brilliant displays to lead the Zone ‘A’ qualifier with Nigeria finishing in second place, while Sierra Leone and The Gambia placed third and fourth respectively.