23rd February, 2012
Nigeria Cricket Federation is soliciting the support of the government of Ibikunle Amosun in Ogun State to develop the Astro Turf wicket at the Cricket Oval in the state capital, Abeokuta.
While paying a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Ogun, Gbenga Otenuga, the delegation of the NCF, led by its Chief Operating Officer, COO, George Wiltshire, said that the support of the government is needed to develop an Astro Turf wicket at the Cricket Oval given to Ogun State Cricket Association by the government.
The delegation also requested for the conversion of the Oval to a Cricket Development Centre, which will serve as a camp for both male and female national teams.
Wiltshere paid tribute to Governor Amosun over his sports policy, which focuses on catch-them-young from schools, saying that a proper sports development should start from the school level.
The commissioner expressed gratitude to the NCF for its interest in developing cricket in Ogun State and assured the delegation of the government’s readiness to partner the federation.
“Our focus is to develop sports at the grassroots and I want to assure that we’ll leave nothing to chance to ensure that Ogun makes the best use of the opportunity available like the one from the cricket federation,” Otenuga said.
Ogun State started the development of cricket with the introduction of the game in some secondary schools in the early eighties. This has reaped a good return in investment as over 22 secondary schools and 12 primary schools play cricket actively, while the state has over 75 per cent of its indigenes in the national team.
The delegation include the President of the NCF, Kwesi Sagoe, Dipo Idowu, former chairman of Ogun State Cricket Association, Chief Sofenwa, current Chairman, Ogun State Cricket Foundation, Simeon Ogundipe, former Secretary, Ogun State Cricket Association and Seyi Sonde, an Ogun State cricket coach.