By Daniels Ekugo
The Nigeria Cricket Federation has announced a six-nation T20 International Cricket Tournament holding from March 26th to April 4th, 2022 at the newly resurfaced Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket oval in Lagos.
President of the Federation, Uyi Akpata said that the event will feature Rwanda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Cameroon along with the host country Nigeria.
“Our female national team has been one of the most improved of all our national teams in the last five years and our gender inclusion development agenda has thrown up massive talents that have left us with an ever-improving side. This event is apart from celebrating the milestones that the Federation has achieved in raising tons of female cricketers through its grassroots project – it is set to become a part of the process”
The President added that creating opportunities for the national female team to constantly square up with tough African oppositions is a key objective in setting up the tournament and he also believes it will go a long way in raising the bar for aspiring players.
The Nigerian team has been camped in Benin City for over a week at the Edo Boys High School High Performance Cricket center in Benin City under the watchful eyes of national coaches, trainers and selectors.
According to the President, the team that camped in Edo state were a team of 30 players from where they would be trimmed to a sizeable number before proceeding for the final round of camping in Lagos and eventually, the tournament.
Nigerian international, Blessing Etim, will be the captain of the female Yellow-Greens (as the national team is called) and hoping to be making her experience count for the national team as the event gets underway in Lagos.
Every match at the event will also count for each team’s T20 ranking point on the International Cricket Council’s log.
Akpata also said that beyond the players, Nigeria’s facilities will be showcased, along with the umpires that the country has also invested in in the last few years.
“A lot has happened in the game’s development of late, and events like this presents an opportunity to test and showcase all those.” He added.
He said that the Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval that was resurfaced and upgraded to a ten strip turf playing surface in January will be put to its first major use with the NCF Women’s T20 event, along with Nigeria umpires getting international caps on home soil.