Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
India has deployed one of her top coaches, Shriam Renganathan, to the Nigeria cricket team for the World Cricket League Division 5 competition billed for Jersey Island from May 19 through May 29.
Nigeria will compete in the same group with Tanzania, Gurnsey, Jersey Island, Oman and Vanuatu for the two available slots that will upgrade them to Division 4, the highest level ever to be attained by the country in world cricket. Failure to progress will see them remain in Division 5 or demoted to Division 6.
Renganathan is a Level A coach certified by the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) to assist national coach Uche Ogbimi.
The President of Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) Emeka Onyeama, said yesterday that Renganathian is in the country in his voluntary capacity and will help in taking Nigerian players to the platform that will expose them to world level.
Onyeama said the technical agreement with India will also enable Nigerian players play professional cricket in India, considered one of world’s leading cricket nations.
The Nigerian team of 16 players, who have been in camp since February, will depart for London on Wednesday for a number of pre-tournament warm up matches before heading to Jersey Island.
“The International Cricket Council (ICC) has set up a World Cup League that will take us to the final stage of the league of ‘big boys’. Division 4 is a higher platform of rating which we are targeting to raise the quality of the game in Nigeria as well as explore commercial opportunities,’’ Onyeama said.
Nigeria’s captain, Kunle Adegbola, expressed confidence the ‘Yellow Greens’ will qualify for Division 4, saying the 16 selected players out of 40 that went through three camping phases since February are the best in the country.