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Sports News of Saturday, 20 November 2021


Cricket Federation President gives reasons Nigeria is struggling in Rwanda

Nigerian Cricket Federation President, Uyi Akpata Nigerian Cricket Federation President, Uyi Akpata

President of Nigeria Cricket Federation, Mr. Uyi Akpata, has said that the Nigeria team at the on-going African T20 Regional Qualifier has struggled because of the changes the team is currently going through.

He said this at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional College (IPRC) where the team just lost its fourth game out the six game they are scheduled to play during the qualifier.

"The plan of our administration is to ensure that in the next two years we are competing with top African countries. And to achieve that we needed to harness our best talent together and expose them to tough playing opportunities we can organise, which this event is one of such.”

He said though the defeats were tough on the team, but the newly assembled team that had majorly the 2020 Under 19 World Cup playing squad is a good foundation for any solid team we intend to build in the future.

He added that “After this experience the board of the NCF has as part of our development plan, to send some of our players to high performance centres in top cricketing nations for several months to acquire high level of coaching experience as well as engage in competitions with countries that are above us."

Mr. Akpata said the Nigerian team deserve high commendation given the fight they have put up so far despite not winning a match so far.

“Though Nigeria have not won any match but we take positives from the fact that we have the youngest side in the tournament and they are competing favourably with more experienced countries like Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya all from east Africa.

"Tournaments sometimes is not all about winning but the lessons learnt from the loss and i am very impressed with the way our team fought in every game. ‘’Not trying to make excuses for our losses but looking at the games we played before this tournament which was the Tri Series in Uganda and the Bi-lateral Series against Sierra-Leone you would agree with me that the Yellow Greens have not played some considerable level of cricket as compared to their opponents."

He said further that 30 players have been identified from the recently concluded National Youth games in Ilorin and in a month’s time they would be going to intensive camp working with Mr. Asanka Gurusinha, National Coach and High Development Manager, as part of the Federation’s development plan.