Edo state’s men team outran their Kaduna State counterpart with 57 runs on Wednesday to emerge champion of the National Men’s Cricket Championship in Benin City, Edo State.
Team Captain Peter Aho, a prominent member of the National Under-19 Cricket World Cup team last year in South Africa said the team owed their victory to discipline and the huge measure of support that they enjoyed from the Edo State Cricket Association.
“We give the glory to God and we thank all our mentors and the leadership of the Edo State Cricket Association that have sacrificed and encouraged the team to this height, we dedicate this victory to them.”
President of the Federation, Professor Yahaya Ukwenya said the event has served its purpose. “We set out to, among other things use this event as a platform for the best players in the country to showcase their skills”
Ukwenya said apart from the impressive displays, the opportunity to have more players drawn into the pool to be camped for the national assignments that the country would be involved in later in the year is very key.
“The national coach, Asanka (Gurusinha), has watched every matched of this encounter with a team of selectors, and soon our national camp will open for the assignments ahead with some new players invited based on their performance here.”
Team Kaduna finished as runner up while Lagos finished in third place.
Mustapha Yussuff (of Lagos) was named the bowler of the series for bowling 16 wickets in four matches. Edo’s Selim Salau and Kaduna’s Isaac Okpe we adjudged the Fielder and Batsman of the event while Slyvester Okpe, the captain of the runner up team was named the Most Valuable Player of the Championship.
Kofi Sagoe, the newly re-appointed Chairman of Lagos State Cricket Association who was one of the selectors at the event said the event has put some players under the spotlight; a development, which he said, will enrich the base of the national team.
“I think we should commend the work done by the Federation for constantly pushing the boundaries for developmental initiatives. We have some learnings and have seen some more promising talents that should be mentored and groomed, this, I think our national coach is equipped to bring about in them.
“As for Lagos, our team was adjudged third based on Net Run Rate, since there was no third place match. They are back in Lagos and had began technical analysis of our performance at this event including some fixes that we hope would help us place better at the coming National Sports festival that starts this week.”
The National Men’s Championship started with eight teams grouped into Pools A and B (Lagos, Edo, Kwara, Anambra, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Rivers and Oyo). It was flagged off on March 22nd and concluded on 31st.