The newly elected board of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) will host the 2017 National Women and Men’s Championship across five geo-political zones of the country with 26 states participating.
The President of the federation, Professor Adams Yahaya Ukwenya said the event will bring together cricketers from across the country and provide a platform to showcase budding talents from all the regions.
“The National Women and Men’s Championship is intended to help galvanise interest across the nation and ultimately be our nursery for national team players. We are all looking forward to it and I am very pleased with the interest I can see building up across the states.” he said.
The new board of the federation had earlier this year organised a national U-17 championship under the auspices of the National Youth Games in Ilorin.
Kaduna and Akwa Ibom states won gold medals in the male and female categories respectively while Edo won the silver medal in both categories. Other winning states were Anambra (3rd female) and Oyo (3rd Male).
The national championships is a senior level competition which started with the women’s regional qualifiers from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November. The women’s finals will be played this weekend 17th to 19th November at the Cricket Oval in Abuja, FCT.
The five regional champions (Anambra, Edo, Kaduna, Oyo and Niger) will slug it out with host FCT for the national finals scheduled for Sunday 19thNovember.
The men’s event is scheduled to commence on Thursday 30th November with preliminary rounds across the 5 zones.
Eight teams will emerge to play quarter finals in Lagos and Ibadan simultaneously with semi-finals on the 8th December and the championship finals on the 9th December, at the TBS Oval, Lagos.
The men’s championship will be competed for by South West: Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, and Ondo; South South: Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo, Akwa Ibom and Delta; South East: Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu; North Central: Plateau, Niger, FCT Abuja, Kogi and Kwara; North West: Kaduna, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Jigawa and Kano.
According to NCF President Ukwenya, “The NCF National Championships will certainly bring the 2017 season to a very exciting close while we earnestly prepare for a more robust, tournament-filled 2018”.