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March In Review

April 7, 2022

Welcome to a new month and the second quarter of the year. It has been an eventful year so far and these events keep tumbling in one after the other. Just as we were recovering from the breathtaking events of the previous month, March was ready to encapsulate us with its own. The last time we discussed, we shared 'ongoings' in the leagues around the nation. 

With leagues all over the country concluded but the CCC league in Lagos, many States have gone back to grassroots development and are introducing the game to more people all over the map. If I can remind you - when this administration came on board, one of their pillars was to get 250,000 new people playing the game every year...and the state associations have keyed into this and are executing it with gusto.

For leagues, Port Harcourt is yet to confirm when they will begin the round of the T20s but they have promised to circulate the information once it is available. We are also hearing that Oyo State is putting some league together and that is to begin shortly at the Liberty Oval of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan. Trust us to bring you the information fresh as we receive it.

Talking about the league in Lagos, Division 2 was more or less concluded with IMCC rubber-stamping their dominance with an emphatic victory over Island Titans. This means that Island Titans can only finish 2nd at the highest, handing the championship to the Ibadan warriors. This was exactly how it happened as Pioneers failed to repeat their 1st leg victory over the Asians. They will remain in Division 2 and give the promotion another go next season.

And for the top division, GCI was able to leap to the top of the table ahead of Ibeju Lekki 1 but they have played 3 more games and are only 4 points ahead. Whether they keep their position remains to be seen in the new month. Rising Stars CC finally succumbed to defeat, leaving Ibeju to be the only undefeated club in the league this season. At the other end of the table, FGC Warri lifted themselves off the foot of the table after a decent run of just one defeat in their last 4 games. However, the action was temporarily suspended for the last two weeks because of the NCF Invitational T20i.

As reported, the invitational featured Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and The Gambia. It was by far the biggest cricket event the country and the region has seen in a while. With cricket stars from 5 countries, it attracted live viewers from every corner of the country and the continent with representatives of all the countries physically present - and not just cricket administrators. Some of the countries sent representatives from the consulate offices here in Lagos to give support to their ladies and give appreciation to the NCF. And for the online followership, there were close to thirty thousand individuals closely following the events at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos.

Rwanda beat Nigeria in the final game in a dominant fashion to take home the highly coveted trophy from under the noses of thousands of watching Nigerians. Congratulations, Rwanda!

From what we gather, the invitational next year will be a bigger event as more countries will be added to make it a total of 8. But before then, our girls need to get ready for the return leg in Kigali in June. It means I need to put the ground in shape for them to train. See you guys in a few weeks.

- A Groundsman


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