Saturday, July 02, 2022

Women's Cricket Takes Centrestage

  • March 19, 2022
  • in Women ,
  • 0

The 8th of March is significant for the celebration of International Women’s Day, a celebration that carries on for the entire month. Symbolically, somewhere in the eastern hemisphere, the cream of the crop are currently slogging it out to see who will wrest the most envied crown in world women's cricket away from current champions England. The ICC Women's World Cup in New Zealand showcases not only the best female cricketers in the universe, but it is also a source of inspiration to many young females worldwide aspiring to pick up the game and be the best at it.

It is perhaps fitting that some of the best female cricketers in Africa will converge in Lagos, Nigeria to deliver a feast of cricketing excellence during the same month. At the start of this current administration, one of the prominent points of focus is to get more women playing the game. But that does not seem to be just it. Everywhere you turn, there has been evidence of deliberate, calculated, concerted efforts to make sure that the womenfolk in the cricket community do not just participate, but that they get quality guidance and coaching. It is little wonder why the fitness coach of the national men's side, Seye Olympio, has been seen working with the ladies and the national men's head coach, Asanka Gurusinha, has also had a few sessions with the female side.

The Nigeria Invitational T20i series has been in the works for quite some time. Preceded by a number of bilateral and tri-nation series between some of the top nations on the continent, the competition gives us a chance to witness first-hand, the giant strides that have been made in the female game. It will also be a wonderful opportunity to qualitatively evaluate the work being put in and to see how far we have come since Kwibuka.

Happening on the hallowed (and newly upgraded) turf of the Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval, the competition will feature familiar foes, Rwanda who are ranked 31st in the world, 44th ranked Sierra Leone. Of course, Nigeria ranked 37 in the ICC T20I standings. For The Gambia, Cameroon, and Ghana, the series gives them the opportunity to register ranking points and test their mettle against their contemporaries.

Ghana and Rwanda are the only teams to have announced their tournament squads and while not a lot is known about the West African side, the Rwandan team includes familiar names and seasoned campaigners, some of whom have come up against the female Yellow Greens in the past.

We will be on the lookout for announcements from the other teams but word has it that the excitement in the respective camps is about to boil over. For many of these ladies, this will be an indelible event in their entire lives, and stories of this trip will be told to generations for many, many years to come.

Nigerian fans who have religiously followed the Yellow Greens across the world wherever they have played will relish the opportunity to get behind the ladies on home soil so this promises to be a colorful and exciting time. If you are yet to, get your jerseys, your scarves, face paints, percussion, and wind instruments. Come give your undiluted hardcore support to these ladies. This continent is not ready for the noise we are about to unleash!


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