Prof. Yahaya Ukwenya, the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) has said that the upcoming National Men’s Championship was vital to the country’s international engagement later this year.
Ukwenya said the event which would start on Monday and end on March 31 at the Edo Boys High School, Cricket High Performance Centre, Benin City, would enhance the country’s preparation.
He said:” The forthcoming 10-day Championship is a key event on NCF Calendar given the weight of international commitments that the country is committed to later in the year.
“For us, this Championship is the first on the list of activities that will form the molding of a stronger national team both for the Under 19 and more importantly the Senior Men’s team.
“Our teams will participate in the U-19 World Cup, Senior Men’s T-20 World and the Women’s World Cup Qualifier.
“Nigeria will be hosting two of the World Cup Qualifiers in October and November, I believe the Men’s Championship will serve as a key preparatory event for the challenges ahead.”
Eight teams that will be on parade for the championship are Lagos, Edo, Anambra and Kwara in Pool A, while Kaduna, Rivers, Delta and Oyo will slug it out in Pool B.
Endurance Ofem, the tournament coordinator said that the event will be the first test for any player willing to pick a shirt in the national team later in the year.
“This event is very crucial to future engagements both locally and internationally.
“We have provided the best condition for the top teams to thrive and we believe the venue too will help us better in allowing the players express their talents as well, “he said.
The National Coach, Sri-Lankan Asanka Gurusinha, will be on ground with his assistants to identify outstanding players for the national team.