‘Nigeria, Sierra Leone games strategic for NCF’s elite development project’
The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) has said the T-20I Bilateral series between the national men’s team, Yellow-Greens and the Sierra Leonean national team, which started on Tuesday at the University of Lagos Cricket Oval, is part of the federation’s elite cricket development plan.
Speaking in Lagos ahead of the first in the six matches scheduled for the tie, Femi Solebo, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman of the Series and NCF board member, said the federation plans to keep the national team in good shape and primed for international encounters, citing a new strategic way of operation by the newly elected board.
“The games against Sierra Leone have historical and developmental relevance to all that we do. We intend to keep the national teams busy while expanding our development agendas. This particular encounter will help us prime our players for the forthcoming T-20 World Cup Qualifiers. But among other things will also help us size up the options we have for the national team, keeping in mind the huge investments at grassroots and age-grade cricket development,’’ he said.
The new NCF board, led by Uyi Akpata, has set a target of 250, 000 new recruitments into the game yearly through an expansive development campaign that is driven by the school system and that will provide the bedrock for development in both boys and girls categories.
Nigeria’s Head Coach and High-Performance Manager, Asanka Gurursinha, said the national team is ready for the Series and there have been changes made since the last Tri-Series tournament in Uganda last month.
Nigeria’s games against Sierra Leone were held back-to-back daily, from Tuesday to yesterday at the UNILAG Cricket Oval, before their first break today.
Three other matches are scheduled before their departure on October 27.
The Nigerian team will participate in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) T-20 World Cup qualifier for Africa in Rwanda in November 2021.