Kaduna State over the weekend exhibited a steely character to defeat FCT by 31 runs to win the National Women’s Cricket Championship at the National Stadium, Abuja.
The side, coached by Zeal Ibe, overturned the tide late in the second inning by knocking out the FCT’s 10th wicket to win with 135 runs to their rivals’ 104 runs.
Aside from clinching their maiden national title, Kaduna which finished as runners up in the past edition, similarly scooped three individual awards that reinforced their rating as the best team.
Team Captain Blessing Nwobodo, emerged the Most Valuable Player and Batsman of the series with 124 runs, including three knock outs; Mary Desmond was named the Best Fielder by virtue of her five catches.
The Best Bowler award was clinched by Kehinde Abdulkadir of Oyo State.
Nwobodo attributed the team victory to hard work and indomitable fighting spirit. She said with the victory the players are now eying invitations to the national team. She also appealed to the Kaduna State government to continue to emphasis on the development of cricket in the state.
Six teams namely, Oyo, Anambra, Niger, Kaduna, Edo and FCT attended the event spread over three days. Edo edged Oyo to the third position.
President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) Professor Adams Yahaya Ukwenya assured all that the federation will form the nucleus of the national team from the talents discovered at the championship
Ukwenya said that though the competition was a senior championship, most of the players were teenagers, who exhibited a high standard by scoring on the average over 100 runs.
“Though cricket is over 100 years old in Nigeria, female cricket is just 10 years and its popularity is soaring across the regions.
“We hope that some of the players will form the bulk of the national team. The federation will ensure that their techniques conform to international standard,” Ukwenya said.
Meanwhile, the National Men’s Championship is scheduled to start on November 30 in five regional venues with the Finals coming up in Ibadan and Lagos between December 5 and 9, 2017.