Saturday, 18 February 2017

2/18/2017 07:40:00 am






Buoyed by the steady progress made by the state cricket associations in the development of the game at the grassroots, the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) is planning a national cricket league, according to the NCF president, Chief Emeka Onyeama, who made this known in a chat with LEADERSHIP Weekend Sports in Abuja.He said the league which is being planned to hold in Abuja after the completion of the international cricket pitch which is being built at the package ‘B’ of the National Stadium, would involve states, clubs and schools.He also revealed that, apart from the national cricket league being planned, some state associations have started their own local cricket league, while others are been encouraged to follow the step suit.“With our collective effort, we have been able to take the game back to the grassroots, which is where it actually belongs. We have taken it to National Sports Festival (NSF), as well as the National Youths Games. We have taken it to the NUGA and it would be a medal event at the next NUGA Games.“This whole thing started under my administration. What we are doing now is to develop officials of the game, because as you are growing in the game, you need to grow the officiating aspect of the game by grooming more officiating officials that will take charge when the games would be played.“The most important thing is that, as the game is revolving and changing internationally according to ICC rules, Nigeria is equally in line with the international best standard. The training of umpires is to keep them abreast with the new rules and standards adopted by the ICC.“When we came aboard, only about eight states were playing cricket in Nigeria. Today, we have 27 states playing cricket in the country. We would have more than that, but for the activities of insurgents in the North East. I can tell you that cricket has grown in Nigeria, irrespective of the fact that some states are far better than others. Today, the introduction of the state leagues by some state associations means that the game is growing across the country and we are glad about that,” Onyeama said.

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