The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) has been given the final approval by the International Cricket Council to host the ICC Sub-regional T20 Qualifying Tournament at the Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval in Lagos between April 12 and April 22, 2018.
ICC Representative Mr. Kuben Pilay and members of the LOC have agreed on plans for
security, catering, accommodation, transportation, medical and media during the tournament.
Pilay also hinted that the ICC was pleased with level of preparedness by Nigeria to host the regional tournament.
According to him, “we are impressed with the level of work done so far and the level of commitment by members of the LOC.”
He also expressed optimism that this will be the first in a series of international competition to be hosted by Nigeria.
Speaking on the hosting, Vice President of the NCF, Mr. Uyi Akpata, explained that the rationale for hosting this competition was born out of the board’s desire to reposition the sport since assumption of office eight months ago.
Uyi who also doubles as the chairman of the LOC of the tournament, stressed further that the NCF board under the leadership of Professor Yayaha Adam Ukwenya, would do everything humanly possible to package one of the best cricket competitions ever in Nigeria.
He also stressed that the board already has Eroton Exploration and Production Ltd and Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc as the federation’s sponsor but will continue to work round the clock in getting more sponsors to make NCF less dependent on the ICC and government for its funding.
The Technical Representative on the NCF Board, Mr. Dahiru Enesi, assured Nigerians that the country would present the best players for the qualifying tournament in April. “Currently we have 21 players out of 33 players invited to camp that scaled the first trials and much later three foreign-based players namely: Shola Anyia (United Kingdom), Saheed Akolade (Australia) and Dotun Olatunji (Canada) would join up starting from Monday, March 12, 2018 during the second phase”.
He further revealed that this year, NCF decided to move out of the norm to create a tournament during trials with coaches and selectors dividing the players into three teams namely: Team Alakija, Team Nwokedi and Team Kalada.
“This move ensured that the best batsmen faced the best bowlers and vice versa which in turn resulted to the best 22 players that are gearing up for the second phase this month,” concludes the technical representative.