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ICC supports Nigeria’s bid to host cricket championship

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National team star, Adekunle Adegbola during a ICC World Cricket League competition 2017

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given Nigeria the nod to host next month’s Sub-Regional T20 qualifying tournament. The competition will hold from April 12 to April 22, 2018 at the Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval, in Lagos.

In a series of meetings, which lasted three days between the ICC representative, Mr. Kuben Pilay and members of the LOC, the bodies looked at ways to ensure effective security, catering, accommodation, transportation, medical and media.

Mr. Kuben Pilay, who addressed the media after the parley in Lagos, said the ICC was pleased with the level of preparedness by Nigeria for the regional tournament and also expressed optimism that this will be the first in a series of international competition to be hosted by Nigeria.

Also speaking after the meeting, NCF Vice President, Uyi Akpata took time to explain the rationale for hosting this competition, saying it was borne out of the board’s desire to reposition the sport since assumption of office eight months ago.

He added that the board under the leadership of Professor Yahaya Adam Ukwenya would do everything possible to package one of the best Cricket competitions in Nigeria, adding that a clear testament to their capabilities was the hosting of the National Male Championship in December 2017 at the Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval, Lagos as well as the maiden edition of Cricket Awards for past and present players.

He revealed that the board had Eroton Exploration and Production Ltd and Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc as its sponsors, adding that it was still scouting for more sponsors to make the body less dependent on the ICC and government.

Earlier, the Technical Representative on the N.C.F Board, Mr. Dahiru Enesi assured Nigerians that the country would present the best players for the competition, saying, “currently, we have chosen 22 players out of 33 players invited to camp. Later, three foreign-based players, namely Shola Anyia (United Kingdom), Saheed Akolade (Australia) and Dotun Olatunji (Canada) will join the camp on March 12, 2018 for the second phase of camping.

“This year we decided to move out of the norm to create a tournament during trials with coaches and selectors dividing the players into three teams of Team Alakija, Team Nwokedi and Team Kalada.

This move ensured that the best batsmen faced the best bowlers and vice versa which in turn resulted to the best twenty-two players that are gearing up for the second phase this month.”


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