The 2021 Men’s National Cricket Championship gets underway on Tuesday at the Boys High School, Cricket High Performance Center in Benin City with Lagos and Anambra taking to the greens in the morning.
The second match of the day will be between Edo and Kwara in the afternoon. The tournament is scheduled to run until Wednesday, March 31 and there are eight teams in contention.
Lagos, Edo, Anambra, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Delta and Oyo are the states in Benin for the tournament. Lagos, Edo, Anambra, Kwara, are grouped in Pool A while Kaduna, Rivers, Delta and Oyo are in Pool B.
Former international batsman, Endurance Ofem, the player’s representative on the board of the Nigeria Cricket Federation and the tournament coordinator, disclosed the event is a test for the players to fight for a shirt in the national team.
“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 to express their latent talents as well.”
The President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation Yahaya Ukwenya, said that the championship will help the Federation prepare well for some international competitions in the latter part of the year.
“The National Men’s Championship for us, is the first on the list of activities that will form the molding of a stronger national team both for the Under 19s and more importantly the senior men’s team.
“We have three World Cup tickets to vie for later in the year. This is in the hope that the Covid-19 Pandemic’s tide will be stemmed as it is presently being done now. The Under-19 World Cup, The senior men’s T-20 World and the Women’s World Cup Qualifier,” Mr Ukwenya added.
Nigeria would be hosting two of the World Cup Qualifiers in October and November and Mr Ukwenya believes the National Men’s Championship will serve as an important preparatory event.
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