By Kemi Akintokun
Lagos, Jan. 21, 2021 The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) says no fewer than 360 players will be fielded when the Boys Qualifier of the on-going PwC National U-17 Cricket Championship commences on Jan. 22.
The federation, in a statement on Thursday , said that the number of players participating would be a record entry in the qualifiers holding at six centres across the country.
Endurance Ofem, Chairman, Development and Tournament Committee of NCF, who is overseeing the event said that the team expects a very competitive regional qualifier.
“ We want the best team from each of the region to make it to the national finals later in February and hence have tweaked the conditiones to have the players fully express themselves.
“We would have ODI, 30 overs in each of the centers where the qualifiers will be played.
“ We have put officers on ground to ensure COVID-19 compliance and the Ministry of Youth and Sports has sent in support in this regards.
“This will also be complemented with health officials on ground at each centers,” Ofem, who is also a former national player said.
Delia Asuzu, Head Marketing and Communication at PwC, said that the teamwork at the various centres where the qualifiers would hold was a great unifying factor that the company identified with.
“At the national finals, each regions will present the best team from the regional qualifiers which calls for a great deal of teamwork.
“ It is one of the values that we promote at PwC and we are happy it is what the events is built around” she said.
According to the statement, Kaduna will host Kano, Zamfara, Jigawa and Sokoto for the North West qualifiers, while Rivers will host Edo, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Cross Rivers and Bayelsa for the South-South zone.
Abuja will host Kwara,Kogi and Plateau state for the North-Central qualifiers.
Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia will be in action in Enugu for the South-East zone while Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Osun will slug it out in Oyo for the South-West qualifier.
Only Gombe have an automatic entry into the final as the sole entry from the North-East of the country.
The national final for the girls event is slated for Jan. 28 to Jan. 31 while the boys championship will hold from Jan. 4 to Jan. 7 in Edo.