Nige­ria eye ICC World T20 as qual­i­fiers be­gin in La­gos

Sunday Trust - - FEVER PITCH - By Joshua Odeyemi www.dai­lytrust.com/sport

The Nige­rian Cricket team is look­ing for­ward to earn­ing a slot to the next ICC World T20 in Aus­tralia in 2020 as the ICC World T20 Africa Qual­i­fier com­menced in La­gos State yes­ter­day. The qual­i­fier is the path­way for Africa to the ICC World T20 show­piece.

The ICC World T20 Africa Qual­i­fier A –for West African coun­tries- is hold­ing from 14 to 21 April.

The fes­tive Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval is play­ing host to Sierra Leone, Ghana, The Gam­bia and hosts Nige­ria over the next week, with each team play­ing six matches.

The vis­it­ing squads ar­rived in La­gos with plenty of op­ti­mism on Thurs­day.

Nige­ria will en­joy plenty of home­town sup­port over the next week, as they look to progress to the next stage of qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the ICC WorldT20, Aus­tralia 2020. The men in green are be­ing led by Chimezie On­wuzu­like, whose all-round skills are vi­tal to the cause.

He is lead­ing a young, en­er­getic side, and they are charged with mak­ing it a week to re­mem­ber on home soil.

The Ghana­ian side is led by the ex­pe­ri­enced Peter Ananya, who will also be look­ing to pro­vide some sta­bil­ity with the bat. Ananya’s team also in­cludes the Ateak brothers, Si­mon and Sam­son, who have also turned out at this level be­fore.

Sierra Leone who came into the tour­na­ment look­ing to cause an up­set, will have to build on their lat­est per­for­mance. They took on the might of Tan­za­nia a year ago in their last fix­ture of real sig­nif­i­cance.

Also look­ing to make a play is The Gam­bia, who will look to the vastly ex­pe­ri­enced Dum­buya Mbye, who has been ply­ing his trade at this level for over a decade. The right-hand bats­man, who also bowls use­ful medium pace and off­spin, has seen it all be­fore, and knows he will have to en­joy a good week in La­gos.

Pa­tri­cia Kam­barami, the ICC De­vel­op­ment Man­ager for Africa, said: “We are de­lighted that the qual­i­fiers for the ICC World T20, 2020, are kick­ing off in Africa. The Nige­rian Cricket Fed­er­a­tion has worked ex­tremely hard to putting the event on, and we wish the best of luck to all com­pet­ing teams”

In to­day’s ac­tion, The Gam­bia play Nige­ria in the first game, be­fore Sierra Leone and Ghana do bat­tle in the af­ter­noon.

(L-R) Gen­eral Man­ager of the Nige­ria Cricket Fed­er­a­tion (NCF); Mr Emeka Ig­wilo, Pres­i­dent of Fed­er­a­tion, Pro­fes­sor Adam Ya­haya Uk­wenya and In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tive; Kuben Pil­lay at the Press Con­fer­ence to her­ald the ICC T20 Subre­gional Qual­i­fier for Africa Zone ‘A’ at Vic­to­ria Is­land, La­gos on Fri­day April 13, 2018.

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