By Femi Solaja
The initiator of the South-East Cricket Championship, Chuma Anosike, has said that his desire to ensure the development of cricket at the national level was the main reason why he introduced the annual regional event which he claimed is ‘a bottom up’ approach.
The 8th edition of the annual event was rounded up last weekend in Ebonyi State with University of Nigeria Cricket team emerged champions after beating Anambra by 90 runs.
According to the sponsors and initiator of the project, Anosike, “I have been involved in the game of cricket in the country for almost 35 years and I’ve noticed that the game is not growing at the national level and I decided that ‘a bottom up’ approach was necessary to develop the game.
“I started a programme to develop the game in schools in Anambra State with Bishop Seminary, Awka as the focal point.
“With the modest success we achieved in Anambra state I decided to spread the game across the zone and in 2011, the maiden edition of South-East tournament was held in Imo State and till date all the five states in the geo-political zone have hosted the annual event,” he explained.
He noted that some of the objectives of the project have been achieved because the programme has helped with the awareness of the game in the region and some of the discoveries are now involved in first play of cricket at the national level where they will further develop their skills which is a added value to the socio-economic develop in the society.
“The recently concluded edition for the first time incorporated a female version of the event which was won by Anambra against Ebonyi in the final match. We are happy that the future of the game in this region in now very bright following the mass attraction it has achieved within this short period just as we are aware that other regions have taken cue with the establishment of their own regional tournament among young cricketers,” he pointed out.