Saturday, July 02, 2022

Musings of A Groundsman - As We Wait.

As it is with a duck on the surface of the water, it has been somewhat calm and quiet around the cricket circle across the country. But beneath the surface of the water, there has been rigorous paddling in some quarters. 

Starting with the most recent, let me bring you a few of the happenings in our world. 

Just yesterday, the 3rd day of July, the facility manager (Lagos Office) for the Nigeria Cricket Federation, Richson Tetteh, walked down the aisle with the love of his life in Lagos. And the cricket community was well and diversely represented. Here is to wish him bliss and happiness in this new chapter of his life.

Richson Wedding Picture with Cricketers

Now onto real cricket, Oyo State successfully held the second edition of the Oyo State Secondary School Cricket last month at the Obafemi Awolowo oval, Liberty Stadium, Ibadan. Featuring 5 schools in the Ibadan metropolis, it showcased budding talents from which the State can pick and start to refine. Also in Ibadan, we are hearing that the Ibadan Metropolitan Cricket Club has been working with some secondary schools to teach cricket to the pupils. It will not only introduce the game to them, but it will also give them quality engagement for their otherwise idle times. 

Oyo State Secondary School Cricket

In the same vein, the ancient city of Benin has over the past few days been having the Edo State Schools Cricket Outreach. Focusing on the Junior School and tagged "Generation Next", the robust program featured video sessions, technical sessions, fundamentals in fielding, bowling, and batting. The cricket circle is grateful to Amb. Theophilus Ibodeme and all the resources deployed to make this happen. Generations will be grateful to them for the sacrifices. 

Edo State Schools Cricket Outreach banner

Not to be outdone, up north, Kaduna State's "Accelerated Growth Program" will be kicking off this week...and just like the other versions down south, it will be targeting the grassroots in a bid to keep the conveyor belt of cricketers moving. This will be happening at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium at the heart of Kaduna City. We wish them all the best before, during, and after. 

Kaduna State Accelerated Growth Program action picture

In other news, we also gathered that resurfacing is ongoing at the pitches of the Iyoba College and the Kaduna Stadium. The days of artificial surfaces in Nigerian cricket seem to be phasing away. The game will forever be thankful to those making it happen. 

But all of these will not be relevant in the coming months if we fail to protect what is ours. What do I mean? In the next few weeks, interested individuals will start to form alliances and pitch speeches to us, telling us why they feel the need to be among the next set of executives to handle the administrative affairs of the game for the next few years. 

At the risk of sounding like a propagandist for the past administration, I will say this again: cricket has never had it this good in the recent past that many of us can relate with. History will not forgive all of us if we fail to ensure that the next set of hands will consolidate on the past administration's efforts. It is not just by what they say to us. It is not just by how strongly anyone feels. It is about the track record and the substance every aspiring individual has to offer. 

The game has suffered from selfish interests for too long, but now that we seem to have found a way to progress, let us not mess it up. There is a lot in stock for us as a nation this year and the years to come...but we first need to get the composition right. 

Whatever posterity will say about us, let us start to pen it down from now. 

-A Groundsman


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