October 4, 2022
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Nigeria cricket team starts chase of World Cup ticket in Rwanda – Premium Times

  • November 16, 2021
  • 4 min read
Nigeria cricket team starts chase of World Cup ticket in Rwanda – Premium Times

Nigeria’s Isaac and Sylvester Okpe during one of their training sessions.
The Nigeria National Senior Men’s team, the Yellow-Green will this week begin a four-day six-match session for the ticket to represent the continent at the next T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022.
Uyi Akpata, President of the Federation said that the team’s preparations for this event are on and he expects nothing but a fight along with the other competitors, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.
“We have had the team training together for weeks and had two major tournament exposures in Uganda and the bilateral series at home to hone them better for this event. We are very pleased with the way the team is turning out and equally hope for the best outing when we file out in Kigali from Wednesday, ” he said.
Nigeria was the first team to arrive for the event, a decision which the national coach, Asanka Gurusinha said he incorporated to enable the team to settle ahead of the busy qualifying schedule.
“This qualifiers’ schedule is a tough one and I think our team is very ready for the on-field battle. At each stage of our preparation, we have brought in new learnings that have improved the quality of the team. I think we have a far better team going for this event now, and we are optimistic of a good outing,” he added.
Gurusinha is a Sri Lankan World Cup-winning player turned coach whom Nigeria hired late last year as National Coach and High Development Manager.
Nigeria’s Yellow-Green will square up against Tanzania and Uganda on the opening day, Wednesday, November 17 at the Gahanga International Cricket Stadium in Kigali.
The team will resume with another doubleheader against Kenya and Uganda at the IPRC Cricket Ground on Thursday.
All teams would go on break on Friday before hostilities resume for the final round on Saturday, November 20, where Kenya and Tanzania will again line up at the IPRC grounds in Kigali.
Nigeria’s Head Coach Gurusinha who confirmed that Slyvester Okpe would be making his debut as Nigeria’s national team captain replacing Joshua Ayanaike at the event said he is confident Okpe will live up his billing.
Akpata, who recently assumed the leadership of the Federation on September 30, 2021, after the Federation election said that the event represents one of the platforms, the Nigeria Cricket Federation is leveraging to hatch out the game’s developmental agenda.
“A bulk of the Nigerian team members are from the Under 19 World Cup team in 2020 including the new captain, it shows our long-term objective for the national team. The team also comprises of a number of talented experienced players. It is a mix that the head coach is working with now and we are backing him all the way,” he added.
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Tunde Eludini is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he studied International Relations. He is a Senior Correspondent coordinating the sports section for PREMIUM TIMES. Twitter@tundeyeludini

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