Eight teams across the country are taking part in the National Cricket Men’s Championship which got underway on Monday in Benin City, Edo State
The tournament which will run till March 31, 2021, is taking place at the Edo Boys High School, Cricket High-Performance Center.
Yahaya, Ukwenya, President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation said the 10-day Championship is a key event on the Federation’s Calendar given the weight of international commitments that the country is committed to later in the year.
“The National Men’s Championship for us, is the first on the list of activities that will form the moulding of a stronger national team both for the Under 19 and more importantly the Senior Men’s team.
“We have three World Cup tickets to vie for later in the year, hoping that the Covid-19 Pandemic’s tide will continually be stemmed as it is presently being done now. The Under 19 World Cup, The Senior Men’s T-20 World and the Women’s World Cup Qualifier. “ He said.
Nigeria would be hosting two of the World Cup Qualifiers in October and November and Ukwenya believes the National Men’s Championship will serve as a key preparatory event for the challenges ahead.
Lagos, Edo, Anambra and Kwara are drawn in Pool A while the second group, Pool B has Kaduna, Rivers, Delta and Oyo slugging it out.
Endurance Ofem, who is the player’s representative on the board of the Nigeria Cricket Federation doubles as the tournament coordinator corroborates Ukwenya’s assertions that the event will be the first test for any player willing to pick a shirt in the national team later in the year.
“This event is very crucial to future engagements both locally and internationally. We have provided the best condition for the top teams to thrive and we believe the venue too will help us better in allowing the players to express their latent talents as well.”
The National Coach, Sri-Lankan Asanka Gurusinha will be on hand with his Nigerian assistants to watch the event and perhaps extend trial invites to deserving players for the national team he’s been building.