Lagos set to host six-nation women’s T20 tourney

Lagos set to host six-nation women’s T20 tourney

The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) is putting everything in order at the newly refurbished Tafawa Balewa Square cricket oval ahead of a six-nation T20 international tournament billed to hold from March 26 to April 4, 2022.

NCF President, Uyi Akpata, at the weekend, disclosed that the event would feature Rwanda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Cameroun, as well as host country, Nigeria.

“Our women 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 the federation has achieved in raising tons of women cricketers through its grassroots project, set to become a part of the process.”

The president said creating opportunities for the national women team to constantly square up with tough African opposition is a key objective in setting up the tournament, adding that it would also go a long way in raising the bar for aspiring players.

The Nigerian team has been camped 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.

Akpata disclosed that the team camped in Edo State comprises 30 players, which would be trimmed to a sizeable number before the final round of camping in Lagos ahead of the tournament.

Experienced international, Blessing Etim, will captain the women Yellow-Greens (as the national team is called) and the NCF believes her presence would help the national team to success at the event.

Every match at the event will also count for each team’s T20 ranking point on the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) log.

Akpata said beyond the players, Nigeria’s facilities would be showcased to the international cricket community, 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 present opportunity to test and showcase them,” he added.

He said the Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval that was resurfaced and upgraded to a 10-strip turf playing surface in January would be put to its first major use with the NCF Women’s T20 event, just as it presents opportunity for Nigerian umpires to get international caps on home soil.

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