The International Cricket Council (ICC) has revealed its satisfaction with the present facilities of the sport in Nigeria.
William Glenwright, ICC General Manager (Development), said this after his three-day tour of cricket facilities in the country since his arrival on Saturday.
Mr Glenwright, alongside Patricia Kambarami, ICC’s Africa Development Manager, visited equipment in Edo, Lagos, and Abuja as Nigeria prepares to host the U19 World Cup Africa Division Two Qualifiers.
While inspecting the two cricket pitches at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Tuesday, Glenwright said he was optimistic that Nigeria would host more ICC tournaments.
“Over the past few days, we have seen amazing facilities. What we want from our member associations is for them to create facilities so that players can perform to the best of their abilities.
“This is an incredible facility to host a World Cup qualifiers and I am very impressed.
“From this visit, we have seen that we’ve got a member that is set for extraordinary growth, not just for the game in Nigeria but internationally.
“We are incredibly excited and I think we can partner with the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) to do a lot more so that cricket can achieve its extraordinary potential in Nigeria,” Mr Glenwright said.
The President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), Uyi Akpata, responded that the country was humbled to be hosting the rest of Africa at the qualifiers.
“This visit gives us an opportunity to allow us to refresh our strategy and have new aspirations to grow the sport.
“We are saying that we want to reach 250,000 people, but maybe after this visit, we will potentially reach 500,000 or one million people yearly.
“In terms of potentials, we need to expose our coaches and players to real opportunities and more.
“This shows that we are making significant progress, and it is an opportunity for the rest of the world to see what Nigeria and other associate countries can do when given the opportunity,” Akpata said.
Eight countries–Rwanda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Ghana, and hosts Nigeria will take part in the tournament from September 30 to October 9 in Abuja.
The top three teams will proceed to the next stage of the qualifiers ahead of the World Cup in 2024.
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