By PATRICK ABANG, Calabar –
The 5th edition of the most exciting youth cricket festival in Nigeria is set to kick off this Friday across the country in 6 zones with zonal eliminations.
According to the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) Development Manager South, Mr. Tonye Timinadi, 32 states have registered for the zonal playoffs for the male category and 26 for females. Mr. Timinadi was equally excited about the rising number of States interested in developing youth cricket in the country.
Unlike in previous years, the male players will be competing in over 30 game against T20 games. This is to toughen the mental quality of the players who most often participate in the U-19 national team on short calls after their discovery.
This development has made NCF demand all host cities must have a minimum of two cricket playing tuff.
The competition co-sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has given Nigeria great cricket players such as Prosper Useni, Paul Pam, Joshua Asia, Abdulkarim brothers, and Solomon Chilemanya among many others. Legendary female cricket players unearthed by the PwC partnership include Lilian Ude, Sarah Etim, Peculiar Agboya, Shola Adekunle, and Rukayat Abdulrasak.
Five states that will be competing in the south-south zone include Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Delta, Edo, and Rivers State.
The Southeast is the only zone confirmed to start the zonal elimination from February 2nd to 6th in Imo State. The reasons an official said are due to technical and logistics challenges. The grand finale of the NCF/PWC National U17 Championship will take place from 7th to 11th February 2024 at MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
The title sponsor of the Championship, PwC says they are pleased with the outcomes of their partnership especially in girls’ participation and development in cricket games. Also, the financial accounting brand is committed to cricket because of the values of team spirit, leadership, and patriotism among participating youths across Nigeria.