Saturday, July 02, 2022

PwC National U-17 Cricket Championship Hots-up

The Regional Qualifiers for the 2022 PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) National Under 17 Cricket Championship got underway last Saturday January 29, 2022 with close to 800 kids on parade across six centers.

The Championship, run by the Nigeria Cricket Federation has its highest number of entrants this year with 31 states entering male teams while 25 female teams participated.

President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, Uyi AKpata, said the event has become one of the key development indicators for Cricket in the country, especially on the measure of recruitment, engagement of young players, national spread and gender balance.

“We are very particular about the level of growth we are pursuing. The PwC National under 17 Championship helps the Federation model it to the respective states.” He said.

At the South West regional event held in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Lagos male team dethroned perennial regional power house, Oyo state, while Ekiti female team trounced contenders for the honour. Other teams that featured at the South West Qualifiers included, Ondo, Ogun and Osun

Uyi said the model for the event is such that irrespective of the winning state, only regional teams compete at the national finals.

“The best players are selected from the participating states and of course with emphasis on exceptional talents across the teams in the regional qualifiers, and led by the coach of the winning team” he added.

Gombe state, emerged winners in the North East Regional Qualifiers, edging Borno and Taraba. states; who are participating for the first time in the event. In the North-West edition hosted in Kaduna state, the host dominated proceedings lifting both male and female regional tittles. The contenders in the region included, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto States.

Kwara state extended their dominance in North Central, where Kogi, Niger and Plateau competed by lifting the honour in both categories. The Coach, Yusuf Awobola said they owe the victory to the support to the support of the state’s Cricket Association and the dedication of the players.

The South East region produced a mixed winning side, with Imo lifting the male’s trophy and Ebonyi girls stomping their way through the regional qualifier. Enugu, Anambra and Abia also took part in the event.

The South-South Regional Qualifier was staged in Benin City, Edo State, and they also sailed through in both categories leaving other competitors; Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers states to hope on national finals’ selection.

Edo Male Team at the Regional Qualifiers

Tolu Adeleke, Partner at PwC said the event connects with the values of the firms and he believes the 784 kids that took part in the two-day Regional Qualifying stage, apart from being challenged to raise their skill level, must have made a new friend across their state.

“We are about the diversity and using same to strengthen the society, The PwC National U-17 Championship fits perfectly to that” he added.

The 2022 National Finals has been scheduled to hold at the Cricket Pitch of the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja from Tuesday February 15th to Sunday 20th.


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