Cricket: Nigeria’s Scorecard For Last 10 Months—Sagoe

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Cricket Nigeria has cause to celebrate for what the game achieved in the last 10 months of 2011.

President of Nigeria Cricket Federation, Kwesi Sagoe, said that the game has performed well in the last 10 months as some milestones and programmes were successfully achieved.

Sagoe said that after a vigorous planning in the last four years, Nigeria has improved to number 37 in the ICC One Day International (ODI) rankings.

“I’m glad to say that we are number 5 in the Africa ODI behind Kenya, Nambia, Uganda and Tanzania. In T-20, we are number 4 in Africa behind Uganda, Namibia and Kenya. In the U-17 level, we are 7th in Africa. We are behind these African countries because they are more equipped than us, but we are doing our best to ensure that Nigeria continues to improve in the rankings,” said Sagoe during a press parley at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) Cricket Oval in Lagos at the weekend.

The president said that the female event which has been incorporated into the programme of the NCF got a big boost when it was accepted by the continental body, Africa Cricket Association, ACA, which invited two Nigerian women, Ruth Ayannaike Omotola and Blessing Etim, to take part in the madien Ladies Elite Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa last month.

“These ladies gave a good account of themselves in South Africa, as they put up satisfactory performance both in class work and pratical. This made the ACA to extend to Nigeria the invitation to take part in the Africa Women Cricket Championship in Uganda this December,” he said.

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Sagoe said Nigeria won the ICC-Africa APL T20 Division 2 trophy in South Africa to gain promotion to ICC-Africa APL T20 Division 1.

“Nigeria was promoted from Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 7 to Division 6 after securing second position at the WCL Division SevenChampionship in Gaborone, Botswana in May this year,” he said.

He blamed the country’s demotion to Division Seven at the World Cricket League Division Six in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in September, to NCF’s inability to hit the venue in time for acclimitisation.

“We could not go on a pre-tournament tour, which would have afforded the players the opportunity to adjust to the conditions in Malaysia, due to shortage of funds.

“Malaysia is seven hours behind Nigeria and that caused our team to lose all but one of its six matches, beating only Fiji,” Sagoe said.

—Taiwo Adelu

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