By Kemi Akintokun
Lagos, Jan. 19, 2021 Prof. Yahaya Ukwenya, President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) has welcomed the entry of 300 female cricketers, from 21 states, for the on-going PwC National Under-17 Cricket Championships, describing it as a plus for the country.
Ukwenya in a statement, on Tuesday, in Lagos, said that the effort invested at the states’ level to raise these players to the competitive stage, will be taken to a higher realm at the national level.
Naija247news reports that the regional qualifiers for the girls’ championships was held at six centres across the country over the weekend.
“In our five strategic imperatives that we set from the beginning of the administration; making a conscious effort to allow equal development along gender lines was key for us.” Ukwenya said.
He noted that some upsets recorded at the championships underscored the hard work and passion the players brought to the regional event.
“Examples are Ekiti state, who shoved aside Oyo state, regional champion in the South West, and humbled Lagos state in the last match has proven that (cricket) development is not exclusive to major cities anymore.
“We also had Kogi State girls show brilliance to dominate the North Central region; where FCT, Kwara, and Niger were also competing,” he said.
The NCF president said some exceptional talents had been spotted, to be drafted into the national teams, saying that the move would position the country for a good run on the continent in the nearest future.
Taiwo Oriss, NCF Secretary-General, also said that the identified talents would give the robust technical team a pool and options when national trials for any event comes up.
“Despite observing the strict Covid-19 protocols, the regional finals for girls, last weekend, has been perhaps the best we ever had.
“We hope to step up the conditions when the boys’ regional event gets underway this weekend,” he said.
Oriss said the newly appointed national coach, Ashanka Gurusinha, had been following all the reports from the games, from his base in Abuja, with all the statistics and reports generated.
Naija247news reports that the PwC National Under 17 Championship is the biggest platform of the federation, for expressing Cricket talents among youths across the country.
The boys’ regional finals is scheduled for Jan. 21 to Jan. 24, in six centers across the country.