Nigeria on Friday in Kigali beat Brazil by 30 runs to finish fifth at the ongoing KwibukaT20 Cricket Tournament in Rwanda. Earlier in the tournament, Nigeria were top of the log. But with only three wins in seven matche the team dropped down the table as they had to face Brazil again to jostle for fifth spot. Nigeria had earlier beaten Brazil in their first game at the tournament by eight wickets and the game on Friday was no different. Again, Nigeria won the toss and opted to bat. Efforts by Salome Sunday —— 32 runs in 29 balls —— and team captain Blessing Etim’s 27 runs in 30 balls helped Nigeria to secure victory against the South Americans. Nigeria scored 113 runs for the loss of four in 20 overs. The second innings saw Brazil resume batting, scoring 83 for seven in 20 overs. Luracadoso Martin Villas Boaz produced the best batting performance for the Brazilian side with 31 runs in 43 balls. They ended up scoring 83 runs for the loss of seven in 20 overs for Nigeria to win by 30 runs. At the end of the game, Etim, lauded her teammates’ efforts, adding that the team would go back home to the drawing board. “I appreciate the players, we all worked together to achieve this. We will go home and work on our errors and come back stronger. “I also appreciate Uyi Akpata, the president of Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), for his support. On behalf of the team, we say ‘thank you’,” Etim added. On her part, Robertamoretti Avery, the captain of Brazil, also appreciated her team’s efforts and thanked the Rwanda Cricket Association (RCA) for Organising the event. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the tournament, which has eight teams participating, started on June 9 and is expected to end on Saturday. On Saturday, Kenya will face Tanzania to decide the winners of the tournament while hosts Rwanda set up a clash against Uganda for the third-place match. The event is in memory of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. (
Seventeen- year old Rukayat Abdulrazaq and 23-year old Sarah Etim have received their maiden call-up to the national cricket women’s team as the duo prepare for KwibukaT20 tournament in Rwanda.
The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) announced a 14-man list to execute the tournament, late Sunday night on its website.
Blessing Etim will lead the team as captain, supported by Favour Esiegbe as vice.
Opening batter Esther Sandy returns to the squad after falling short for the Nigeria Women’s Invitational Tournament in March while teenage sensation Piety Lucky is unavailable due to academic commitments.
Aside the aforementioned, the other players are, Abigail Igbobie, Kehinde Abdulquadri, Agatha Obulor, Salome Sunday and Omonye Asika.
The rest are Rachael Samson, Miracle Imimole, Taiwo Abdulquadri and Lilian Udeh.
The Female Yellow Greens will depart the shores of the country on Tuesday and will begin their campaign against Brazil on Thursday at the Gahanga Cricket oval.
Other countries participating in the tournament include Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Germany, and host Rwanda.
The tournament is billed for June 9 to 18.
Ajudoka from Ekiti, Blessing Agu, has been invited to the national camp in preparation for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games slated for Birmingham in the UK. The General Manager of Ekiti Sports Council, Kunle Adeyemi, told newsmen in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday that Agu’s invitation followed her performance at the Commonwealth Games trials in Lagos. He said the judoka won four consecutive fights at the trials before losing the final one to her counterpart from Bayelsa. Adeyemi added that both finalists were subsequently invited to camp, where only one of them is expected to qualify for the Commonwealth Games. “I also commend the state judo coach, Akinwale Morakinyo, for his effort in grooming athletes and the level of success recorded so far under his tutelage.” He expressed optimism that the state would continue to make waves in the sports sector. The Council General Manager said: “We are very excited at the future of sports in our state and we are very optimistic that our athletes would be back and better next time. ”This optimism is shared by all judo stakeholders in Ekiti. Therefore, I will not relent until greatness is achieved in the sport.” He also disclosed that another athlete from the state, Blessing Ejim, has been invited to the open camp organised by the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) in Benin City. Adeyemi described the athlete as “an all-rounder” in the state’s under-17 female cricket team. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the national cricket team camp was set up in preparation for the NCF International Women’s Invitational T20I. The invitational is scheduled for between March 26 and April 6 in Lagos. Adeyemi said Ejim who is already in camp was invited following her impressive performances at recent competitions in the South-West geo-political zone, especially the just-concluded Under-17 Championship. “This player is one of the 36 ladies invited to the open camp in Benin City,” he said.
Uyi Akpata, president of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), has urged Nigeria’s male cricket team to fight for a berth in the 2022 T20 World Cup holding in Rwanda.
Akpata told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday against the backdrop of the team’s preparations for the tournament.
Team Nigeria, nicknamed ‘Yellow Greens’ arrived Kigali on Friday for the tournament scheduled to begin on Wednesday to Nov. 21.
Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda will vie, alongside Nigeria, for the sole qualifying spot and Ukpata says he was hopeful for a good outing Greens.
“The team has been training together for weeks and had two major tournament exposures in Uganda and the bilateral series in Lagos against Sierra Leone last month.
“We are very pleased with the way the team is turning out and equally hope for the best outing when they file out in Kigali as from Wednesday,” Akpata said.
The sports administrator also added that the young squad was a testament of the federation’s long term goal for a crack national team.
“The bulk of the senior team are from the Under-19 team that led Nigeria, including to her first ever world cup in 2020, including Sylvester Okpe, the team’s new captain, who is 20 years old, about the same age as many of the players in the team.
“The team also comprises a number of talented experienced players. It is a mix that the head coach (Asanka Gurusinha) is working with now and we are backing him all the way.
“This shows our long-term objective for the national team,” Akpata added.
On his part, Gurusinha said he wanted the team to travel early to enable them settle down ahead of the busy qualifying schedule.
“This qualifiers’ schedule is a tough one, considering that we will be playing six matches in four days, but I think our team is very ready for the battle.
“At each stage of our preparation, we brought in new ideas that have improved the quality of the team.
” I think we have a far better team going for this event now, and we are very optimistic,” he added.
Nigeria’s Yellow-Green will square up against Tanzania and Uganda on Wednesday at the Gahanga International Cricket Stadium in Kigali.
Nigeria’s male senior cricket team has left Nigeria for Rwanda to seek the only qualifying ticket for Africa in the 2022 T20 World Cup, an official said.
Taiwo Oriss, Secretary General of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that a 20-man contingent left Lagos for Kigali via RwandAir for the four hours, 30 minutes flight.
Oriss said the players were prepared for the task, adding that he is hopeful that the team would secure the tournament’s sole ticket.
“The team has been training in their different locations since June, but finally reported to camp in September before traveling for a three-nation series involving Kenya and Uganda.
“They also had a bilateral series against Sierra Leone, all with a view to strengthen the team ahead of qualifiers.
“The team has trained very hard and we rely on God to give us victory,” he said.
The sports administrator also added that he is hopeful that the team “would repeat history like the Under-19 male team who qualified Nigeria for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in 2019”.
reports that the team would face Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, in a home and away format, playing six matches in the process.
The tournament will run from Wednesday to Nov. 21, with only the top team proceeding to the next qualifying stage.
By Ijeoma OkigboBlessing Etim, Captain of Nigeria’s women cricket team, says the inclusion of more coaches to the team’s technical bench will spur the team to victory.
Etim stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Gaborone ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
She said that only a single technical staff was usually assigned to the team, but now, the team has four staff working with them.
“This is the first time in the history of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) that four coaches would be assigned to the women’s team to work with them, ahead of this event.
“The coaches are Onome Oghenekevwe (head coach), Theophilus Ibodeme (Asst. coach), Seye Olympio (physiotherapist) and Leke Oyede (Consultant coach).
“Their wealth of knowledge and experience has shaped our style of play throughout the five weeks we were in camp in Edo state.
“It is huge one for us and we are more prepared and optimistic to begin our campaign in the qualifiers as we look forward to victory,’’ Etim added.
This would be Nigeria’s third outing in the event and Etim, who had participated in the previous two, said they were more prepared for battle this time.
“The first qualifiers was in 2011 in Uganda; we were much younger and really mature in the game. We tried our best in 2019 Zimbabwe, but it wasn’t good enough.
“This time around, we are prepared better. We have worked on our challenges and improved on our mental and physical strength.
“Hopefully, we will not disappoint the country and the federation, especially Uyi Akpata, the immediate past vice president of the federation, who has been very supportive of the team.
“We hope for the best,’’ Etim, who is standing in as Captain for the absent Samantha Agazuma, nursing a knee injury she sustained earlier, added.
Nigeria, in group B, begins her campaign against Sierra Leone on Thursday before meeting Namibia, Uganda, and Cameroon.
Group A comprises host Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Only one team is expected to qualify from the 11-nation tournament beginning on Thursday, Sept. 9.
By Ijeoma Okigbo
Emeka Onyeama, former president of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), called on stakeholders to focus on secondary schools as the key to grassroots game development.
Onyeama told the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that cricket could only compete with other popular sports in the country if a deliberate grassroots development effort was continued.
He said focusing on high schools was key to the nation's progress in the sport.
“The base age of any growing child is between nine and 17 years old and you can find them in junior and senior high schools.
“This is the best step to fully introduce the sport at the grassroots. Primary schools are important, but that's just to make the game popular with kids.
“It is in high schools that children can compete, be more exposed and have a better understanding of the game.
“It is at this point that we see a greater number of followers of the sport and an interest in the game in a professional manner. This is an area that all stakeholders need to focus on, if we are to develop the game, '' said Onyeama. (NAA)
By Ijeoma Okigbo
No fewer than 68 players are expected to compete in the first-ever north-central invitational cricket tournament scheduled for Sunday at Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
Emeka Onyeama, president of the FCT Cricket Association, said this at a press conference Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeama said the event, which will only feature male players, will serve as a pilot program for the development of cricket in the area.
“In an effort to develop the game of cricket in FCT and North Central as a whole, we have booked this event as a way to promote the game at the grassroots.
“A team from Plateau and Kwara as well as two teams from FCT will compete for honors at the event.
“Three games will be played during the event on Sunday. The four teams will be grouped into two and will face each other in a 10-a-side game, ”he said.
According to him, the winners of both matches will go to the final, which is a 20-a-side match.
"This event would promote unity among the north-central states and encourage young people to stay off the streets and participate in sports, especially cricket," he said.
Onyeama, who is also the former president of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), added that the association would take care of accommodation, transport and food for the teams.
The cricket administrator also assured that all COVID-19 guidelines will be strictly adhered to when competing.
At the same time, Emmanuel Gankon, secretary of the association and Kayode Adeniyi, president of the local organizing committee of the event, were also present at the press conference. (NAA)(NAN)
By Ijeoma Okigbo
Ijeoma Okigbo of Nigeria has been selected to participate in the first International Cricket Council (ICC) 100 Percent Future Cricket Leaders program.
Okigbo, a reporter for the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), was selected under the auspices of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), an associate member of ICC.
Musa Ehizoje, the NCF's public relations manager, revealed this in a statement in Abuja.
He said Okigbo, who is the founder of Girls Aspire Sports Initiative, an NGO, has been recognized for using cricket as a means of empowering girls.
The journalist, along with 39 other women around the world, will be mentored in various executive positions in cricket.
“Forty women from 29 ICC member countries have been selected for mentoring through the ICC 100 Percent Cricket Future Leaders program, designed to support emerging female talent in cricket.
“The program, which is part of ICC's long-term commitment to accelerate the growth of Women's Cricket and Women in Cricket, has received an overwhelming response from over 300 applicants from 45 different countries.
“The first promotion will be split into two lots and the program, which is designed to cater for the low percentage of women in leadership positions in world cricket.
"This will create a pipeline of new female cricket leaders," the statement added.
Okigbo has been selected in lot 2 for this program which should start in November 2021.
Meanwhile, Girls Aspire also won the ICC award for Best Women's Cricket Initiative for Africa in 2020. (NAN)(NAN)
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. “We have three World Cup tickets to vie for later in the year, hoping that the COVID-19 Pandemic’s tide will continually be stemmed as it is presently being done now. “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.