South-south Continues Dominance at PwC Under-17 Cricket

The fifth edition of the NCF/PwC National Under-17 Championship wrapped up on Sunday, at the twin Ovals of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, with the teen players representing the South-south region sweeping honors at the event.

Like in the previous editions, the boys and girls’ teams from the region went unbeaten at the national finals and retained their titles for each class.

Theophilus Ibodeme, the coach of the boys’ team said that the winning was not a coincidence. They are all result of the depth of cricket development in the region.

“By the grace of God Almighty, we are glad to have won again, and this time, it feels special because many of the teams have really stepped up their game, and it was tough for the South-south teams. This means that we have to dig deeper, technically going forward if we have to retain our winning edge in the region,” observed the cricket coach.

Representing PriceWaterHouseCooper (PwC), Tolu Adeleke, said that the event has lived up to the expectations of his firm as a tool to galvanise the country and also empower the girls.

“We are very glad that the Nigeria Cricket Federation has sustained the values that sparked our interest in this project; the fact that the event has even been elevated to become the nursery that produces our national team players is very encouraging,” he revealed.

Team South-west was another team that threw everything at the event this year, and their effort earned them runner-up places at both the boys and girls’ events. Joseph Omonkhobhio and Joy Osazuwa were the Most Valuable Players in the boys and girls’ categories, respectively. The two players are from the winning South-south teams.

Chika Okoro, a member of the Nigeria Cricket Federation Board, applauded PwC for their long-standing relationship with the Federation and also the Sports Minister for his interest and support in cricket through encouragement so far.

He alluded to the gains being recorded by the Federation on the continent as a result of the major grassroots efforts of the men and women deployed to coach the game in different states and the support of sponsors like PwC.

The 2024 PwC National Under-17 Championship featured entries from 34 of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital City, of which Chika Okoro said it’s the largest in terms of national coverage.

“This very edition has shown that one sport can unite the country. And with 34 states and 80 percent of our participants representing the female gender, I believe we have made a point for unity through cricket,”he concluded.

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