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Nigeria disbands camp as ACA postpones T-20 championship over Coronavirus

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The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) has disbanded the national camp it set up ahead of the African T-20 Cricket Championship, which has been postponed due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

The championship, scheduled to hold from March 20 in Nairobi, Kenya, according to the African Cricket Association (ACA), was postponed on the account of rising global health concerns around Coronavirus-COVID-19, which the Kenyan government has pointed out.

The eight-nation championship was supposed to feature Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, and host Kenya.In a press statement jointly signed by the body’s Chief Executive, Cassim Suliman and Chairperson, Jackie Janmohamed, the ACA said, “With reference with the above mentioned subjects please be advised (that) with in-depth communications with local and international authorities as well as to ensure safety of all concerned both domestically and internationally we regret to advise the participation members who are competing in the ACA T20 Africa Cup Kenya 2020 has been postponed until further notice.

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“The ACA respects the decision of the Government of Kenya and supports all efforts that safeguard the country against the possible entry of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This decision has been taken by the ACA Board as well as in consultation with all the Health Ministries of the various countries.”

The statement also reiterated the Kenyan government’s stance on meetings and conferences that are international in nature and advised Kenyans to avoid gathering with more than 15 people in attendance.

It added: “The government has issued a travel advisory to all Kenyans to avoid non-essential travel to high risk countries for conferences/meetings or events where more than 15 people would be gathering.  The Ministry of Health is engaging Kenyans citizens, sector by sector, in the management of both personal and public hygiene. “

In decamping members of the senior national, also known as the Team Yellow-Green, who were camped in Lagos to prepare for the event, NCF General Manager, Emeka Igwilo said, “As an ACA member Federation, I believe the postponement will douse some tension around the event, especially as the outbreak around the Coronavirus is on the increase of late.

“We have also informed our team currently camped in Lagos of the development and camp has been closed.” 

The senior national team, who started camping in Lagos on February 29, 2020, was expected to begin a 10-day training tour of Zimbabwe from March 9, and from there move to Nairobi on March 20 for the African T-20 Championship.

“Many sporting events have taken the hit as more people and countries are avoiding public gathering as a way to curb the outbreak of the virus. I believe the postponement is in the interest of all,” Igwilo added.

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