The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) is partnering with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) for the finals of the under-17 male and female national cricket championships.
The NCF President, Yahaya Ukwenya, at a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja said the partnership was necessary to improve competitions at the age-grade level.
He added that the move was also part of the campaign for the sport’s grassroots development by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“We have two pillars of development of the game.
“The first is getting more children, their parents and teachers to embrace and understand the basics of the game.
“The other part is to create pathways for young Nigerians to learn the game and become players that can be selected to represent the county at the highest level.
“I can tell you that we have PwC strongly influencing both arms of development. They have partnered with us as we move around the country to promote the game.
“We also needed to improve competitions at age-grade level, because this is an important part in the development of any sport.
“Since the skills to win matches can only be done on the field of play, we decided that before the kids go out to represent us, they should have experienced competitions at various stages.
“We feel that the under-17 is a gateway to international cricket as some of the greatest players in the world began at this stage.
“So, we approached PwC and they took up the initiative immediately. We commend and appreciate PwC for going into partnership with us,’’ Ukwenya said.
On his part, Tolu Adeleke, a representative of PwC, said the organisation was glad to join forces with the NCF to promote the game.
“Our values align with those of the ICC and by extension the NCF. We seem to be working on the same path and purpose.
“This is also part of our corporate social responsibilities and we are glad to associate ourselves with the giant strides of the present NCF administration,’’ Adeleke said.
Meanwhile, the under-17 female championship will hold from Friday to Sunday, while the male version will hold from Oct. 3 to Oct.6 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
The preliminary rounds of the events were held at the zonal level where states played against each other in their various regions.
The zones, which will be represented in Abuja, selected the best individual cricketers from their various states.
“After the preliminary rounds, where states played against each other, the NCF decided that the zones should select the best players from each state to represent them,’’ Ukwenya said.
“This is not like the usual format where only a state is representing its zone, but now players from states come together to represent their zone.
“So, we have about 14 players representing their zones and that is one the best ways to select good talents for the national teams’’.
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NAN reports that the NCF also unveiled the logo for the tournament at the press briefing.(NAN)
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