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Silly Point - Congratulations Are In Order

As a competitor, I should not typically be heralding the success of my rivals. But I am first a cricket lover and I appreciate good team cricket when I see one. Unless a miracle happens, Ibeju Lekki 1 will again win the Club Cricket Committee (CCC) league this year. It is easy to say that Ibeju Lekki 1 has the best team and therefore should win the league, but having played cricket for so long, it is important to give Ibeju their deserved flowers as their ...

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April in Review

To some, it is no longer news. To some others, it is still a reality they are unwilling to accept. The head coach of the national men's side, Asanka Gurusinha has handed in his resignation and will be leaving the country in the next few weeks. Welcome again to a new month and May the good things packed in the month locate us all. See what we did there? Anyway...while we are still grappling with the idea that our Sri Lankan has gone back to his base in Australia...

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Players are Nigeria's biggest assets - Asanka

The last couple of years has been very busy for the Nigeria Cricket Federation. With landmark activities that are presently reshaping how the sport is being perceived, its growth and eventually its future. One of such key points is the hiring of Asanka Gurusinha as the National Coach and the High-Performance Manager for the country. His appointment in December 2020, during the pandemic, came in the midst of some other high moments and so not much attention was...

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Asanka Exclusive Resignation Interview

When the news broke that the National Head Coach and High-Performance Manager, Asanka Gurusinha had resigned due to health reasons, fans, players, and all lovers of cricket in Nigeria were thrown into a state of frenzy. On one hand, we worried about losing a man that had begun to lay the foundations of a professional level of cricket and on the other hand, we worried about his well-being. TheMiddleStump got a chance to speak to Asanka for an hour during the week....

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March In Review

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...

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NCF President Donates Kits To Unilag’s NUGA Cricket Team

The University of Lagos Cricket Team got a boost to chase gold medals at the forthcoming Nigeria University Games (NUGA), on Tuesday when President of the Cricket Federation, Uyi Akpata, (also an Alumni), donated kits to the team. The presentation of the kits was done at the UNILAG Cricket Oval on, March 15, 2022, and it included batting pads, batting gloves, and cricket bats. Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Mr. Akpata who also doubles as the Chairman of...

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February In Review

We thought January was fast. We had barely dropped the pen to catch our breath and February had zoomed past. Where did it go? Well, we will tell you. Remember the events of last month? Get the summary from our review of January for a better understanding of this. The last time we spoke about the Edo League, U-17 CC was being chased by AAU, Dolphins, and No Limit. The chase culminated in a 2-day ESCA Super Four at the splendid Edo Boys High School Oval in Benin....

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South-South Wins a Double at U-17 Cricket

Both Male and Female teams representing the South-South region at the 3rd PwC National Cricket Championship won their categories to emerge double champion at the event. The South-South boys ran over the South-East boys by 41 to checkmate their bowling attack that was led by Udekwe Chiemelie. Representative of Sponsor of the Championship, Tolu Adeleke, says the performances demonstrated in the five days finals of the event at the MKO Abiola Stadium Abuja...

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National Cricket Coach, Asanka Delights in talent pool

National cricket coach and High-Performance Manager, Ashanka Gurusinha, said on Sunday that the pool of players in the country at the moment is a guarantee for the future of the sport. Gurusinha, who spoke at the final of the 3rd PwC National U-17 Cricket Championship in Abuja, said the last three years have been rewarding for the talent discovery mission of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF)."I want to say that the discovery of talent has ...

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Agboya is Girls’ MVP at 3rd PwC U17 Championship Abuja

Peculiar Agboya, a member of the winning South-South female team has emerged the Most Valuable Player at the just concluded 3rd PwC National Under 17 Cricket Championship at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja. She accumbered 33.422 points being the average of her bowling and batting during the four matches that won the female championship for her team. Agboya, had sixteen wickets in four innings with an economy of 1.88 and was the third on ...

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Cricket Will Take Kids Off the Street - Akpata

The President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, Mr. Uyi Akpata, has said that one of the goals of his team when fully implemented will help in reducing the number out of school children and create employment opportunities. Akpata made the statement at the ongoing 3rd PricewaterhouseCoopers National Under 17 Cricket Championship at MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.“This event is part of the five-pronged strategic imperatives that the NCF is building...

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Salako Rings Changes Ahead of PwC U-17 Championships

Within the last twelve months that the last edition of the PwC National U-17 Championship was concluded at the Edo Boys High School in Benin, one of the players that campaigned for the South West, Ridwan Abdulkareem has had a national cap with the Senior national team. And so, the head coach of the present South West team, Azeez Salako says that his team for 2022 would be parading more talents in the mold or Ridwan when hostilities get underway in Abuja next week....

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Edo Cricket League Advances to Super Four

The 2021-22 season of the Edo Cricket League has moved into the crucial stage as the top four teams are set for Super Four this weekend February 12th and 13th at Edo Boys High School in Benin City. The four teams battling for the Seasons honor include defending champions of the League U17 Cricket Club who currently are roping the table and Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Cricket Club. The others are No Limit that parades national team bowling sensations...

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North Central Female Team Confident Ahead of NCF/PwC Tournament

The third edition of the PwC/NCF Under 17 national cricket tournament will be nothing sort of excitement, great cricket, and an array of new talents. The past year has been instrumental to the development of female cricket in the country and a zone like the North- Central is not short of improvement. Of the seven states, including FCT, that make up the zone, Kwara and Kogi have maintained a healthy rivalry as they go toe to toe in the development of female cricket...

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PwC, Youth Engagement and Cricket Intervention

Nigeria’s growing population leaves a yawning gap in the active engagement of school-age kids which is presently put at 42.54 percent of the estimated 214million population (www.worldpopulationreview.com). This demography of Nigeria’s population is largely dependent and being not self-sustenance has a huge economic import and transit to teenage and adulthood without tangible skill set. This demography of Nigeria’s population is largely dependent ...

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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 ...

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Musings of A Groundsman - Facelift In Phases

In the last few years, the development and improvements that cricket has seen in this country have been in leaps and bounds. It's almost overwhelming to see the kind of progress that has been established in such a relatively short time. Even with the challenges the pandemic brought with it, cricket development did not seem to suffer much. The latest ground to join in the line of turf pitches in Nigeria is the Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos. The 10-strip pitch...

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Five Star Obulor Shines at Female Cricket League Opener in Edo

Immediate past Assistant Captain of the Female National Cricket Team, Agatha Obulor gave a command performance at the opening match of the 2022 season of the Edo Female Cricket League at the Edo Boys High School, in Benin City over the weekend. Leading Idia Royals Cricket Club, she left no one in doubt of her quality from the first ball, as she knocked down 68 runs of the 149 that her team chalked for the loss of two wickets in the first inning of the 20 overs game....

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Revamped TBS Cricket Oval Commisioned in Lagos

Former governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode joined professor Osato Giwa-Osagie on Sunday, January 16, for the commissioning of the turf wicket of the Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval in Lagos. The TBS Oval, the nation’s traditional home of cricket has been shut for 18 months for the upgrade from concrete bowling strips to grass which has been one of the challenges for the development of the sport. Professor Osato Giwa-Osagie. While commissioning...

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TBS Cricket Oval - Back and Better

After 16 months (1year and 4 months) of serious renovation work, the famous Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval (TBS) would be re-opened officially for cricket activities on Sunday, January 16, 2022. The official re-opening of Turf Wicket at the TBS Oval has lots of activities lined up for that day, including An Elite T20 Game between selected players from the Honorable Gbolahan Olusegun Yishawu Club Cricket Committee League trying out for size some Ex-Cricket...

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Meet the Winners - TMS EOY Awards 2021

Compliments of the season from us and ours, to you and yours. This year has taken a lot of getting used to. Almost everything around us has changed in some sort of way. How we work, communicate, travel, do business and even play. One thing though, that has remained is your love and support for us. We do not take it for granted; and in addition to our appreciation, we are pledging a renewed commitment to you. It is in the spirit of the commitment that we have...

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The Thankless Job of Umpiring

For many of us, when we were being taught cricket, it was batting, bowling and fielding in that order. The coaches would usually stand in as umpire/facilitator and members of the batting side would take turns to man the scorebook or scoreboard. This was “the law”, and together with the tagline “the Umpire’s decision is final”, the game never felt more complete. Fast forward all these years later and the role of the umpire, while not at the same level as the willow...

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NCF Appoint, Odeku, John, Ilube, Others

The Nigeria Cricket Federation held its Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 18th of December at the Media Centre of the Abuja National Stadium. The 2021 AGM, the first one since the newly inaugurated board, led by Mr. Uyi Akpata came into office last September was attended by delegates and stakeholders from every part of the country and was preceded by a board meeting a day earlier. Some key highlights of the meeting included a presentation of the...

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Edo Cricket League Goes on Christmas Break

The 2021/22 Edo State Cricket League has gone on a two-week Christmas break after last weekend’s encounters, leaving the defending Champions, Under 17 Cricket Club as league leaders after the fourth week of the new season. The Team boasting of the core of the nation’s under-17 national team players took out perennial rivals, No-Limit Cricket Club by 11 runs on Saturday, December 18 at the Edo Boys High School, Adolor, to remain unscathed after their...

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Laying the Foundations - A chat with the NCF President

In a few hours, the AGM of the Nigeria Cricket Federation will be held at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja. The question on the lips of many is "What can we expect from this new board?" We at TheMiddleStump have been wondering too. That is until we got the opportunity to take a peek into the thoughts of the man steering the affairs of the game in our country, Mr. Uyi Akpata. It will be too much selfishness if we don't share some of those thoughts with you. ...

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The Edo League: Abiebhode, Osaro and Adjiwanou Light Up Week 2

The defending champions of The Edo Cricket League, the U17 Cricket Club saw their first taste of action this weekend and left an indelible mark on their first real opponent to prove that last season's success was indeed not a fluke. After securing a win by walkover last weekend against UNIBEN Cricket Club, and parading mostly the national U17 players, the team made light work of Crusaders Cricket Club. David Abiebhode took 5 wickets in 2 devastating overs...

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From Kigali, with Roses and Thorns

It’s been over a week since we got back home from the regional T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda, where The Cranes of Uganda picked up the sole ticket on offer. It was a good tournament all around. Well organized by the RCA, keenly contested games, amazing pitches, and great weather for the most part. It was great entertainment for the neutrals…but we are not neutrals. Nigeria fans trooped into Kigali in their numbers to support the Yellow Greens....

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National Players Light up Edo Cricket League As New Season Begins

The new season of Edo Cricket Leagues flagged off last Saturday, November 27, 2021, at one of the few turf wickets in the country, with a number of the national team players listed for action for the 10-week play. Chairman of Edo State Cricket Association, who doubles as the President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, Uyi Akpata, says this season has more teams competing than the previous year due to the growth the game has witnessed in the state....

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ICC T20 QUALIFIER: NIGERIA BOWLER ABOLARIN OUT; MOHAMMED NAMED AS REPLACEMENT

Nigeria’s opening bowler Rasheed Abolarin has been ruled out of the Regional Final ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier billed for Rwanda from Wednesday, November 17 to Sunday, November 2021 due to a knee injury. The Lagos Asians Cricket Club player picked up a knee injury which has ruled him out of the tournament and his position is now taken by left-arm bowler Taiwo Mohammed, who is making a return to the team. According to National Coach and High ...

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Nigeria Cricket Team Chase World Cup Ticket In Rwanda

The Nigeria National Senior Men’s team, the Yellow-Green will this week begin a four-day six-match session for the ticket to represent the continent at the next T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022. Uyi Akpata, President of the Federation said that the team preparations for this event have been in top order and he expects nothing but a fight along with the other competitors, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. “We have had the team training together for weeks and had...

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Introducing - The GreenShoots Project

Growing up as a young boy in Lagos, I was lucky to have been admitted into a cricket-playing secondary school. One of the highlights of the summer holidays for me was the Holiday Coaching Clinic. My mates and I looked forward to it with gusto. Over a one-month period, we would work with some of the most talented young coaches in Lagos, make new friends (and rivals) from other schools, and by the end of it, be better cricketers...

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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...

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Lagos State Cricket – Politics Over Development?

In the last two months, there have been many activities in Lagos geared towards resurrecting grassroots cricket in the state. I understand that a Lagos State Cricket Stakeholder Forum has been set up to organize funding and structure for the development of the game in the state at the grassroots level. Under normal circumstances, this would be a laudable effort but you have to be close to the politics of Nigerian cricket to ask why this is coming up now....

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Musings with The Swinger - Nigeria: A Country of Bowlers

It's been a minute. I know. It has not been for nothing. The past few weeks have witnessed plenty of cricket action across the nation. And I just wanted you to soak it all in without my pesky musings. Even if you have not been attentive, you would have come across a cricket post from all that has been happening especially in Edo State. The ancient city of Benin has been host to a host of talents (haha...see what I did there?), recognized and upcoming....

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Maiden Female Cricket League Ends with Super-Four in Benin

The first Female Cricket League in the country; The South-South Female League would be rounding off this weekend, with Super-Four playoff to crown the winner of the inaugural season in Benin-City, Edo State. Chairman of the Edo State Cricket Association and member representing the South-South Zone on the board of Nigeria Cricket Federation, Mr. Uyi Akpata said, “This event is a landmark event for us and the country. In fact, it is ...

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The Moment Destiny Called at the Tenth Over

Growing up as a teenager, in a football dominant society like Nigeria, the choice to go with cricket will naturally meet with some oppositions. For Chilemanya Destiny, he seemed to have walked into the game from the right side of fortune; his choice didn't meet much hostility, except for the threat of banning him from the game when he started coming home late from the cricket pitch. "My mum was not pleased that I came in late from practice, and she threatened to stop...

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Now, Let The Children Come Too

Today, Nigeria Cricket seems more like the center of (development) attraction on the continent. Not that things have been excellent, but in a post-covid era, where fear has shut shown most sporting centers, a little act of bravery can make one a super-hero. The story of the Nigeria Cricket Federation stepping up to give the game a push when many of her peers are holding back (albeit, understandably) has made a poster child of her. With some...

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Thrilling finish as South South becomes U-17 National Cricket Champions

The 2nd edition of the National Under 17 Cricket Championship sponsored by PwC ended on Sunday February 7, 2021, with the South South team emerging the winner. Having recorded 93 runs in a tight 40 over finals match, the North-West team seemed set for a defence of the title they won last year at Abuja until the second innings when the bowling firepower of the South-South team came to the fore....

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Piety Sweeps Awards At PWC National U-17 Cricket Girls Final

South-South teenage sensation Lucky Piety was the center of the National Finals of the Girls Under-17 Cricket Championship after leading her team to victory in the national event at the Edo Boys High School Cricket Oval on Sunday, January 31st, 2021. Rising from her record-breaking century, at the opening game against South West on Wednesday where Piety became the first Nigerian to achieve such feat in a T-20 match, she gave a...

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NCF and PwC Nigeria Go Big On Youth

Over the last couple few weeks, there has been a wave of cricketing excitement coursing through all the regions of the country. Boys and girls from all corners coming together to provide us with a carnival of cricket and camaraderie and it has been fantastic to watch. It is clear that the leadership of the NCF and her partner, PwC Nigeria, understand the importance of investing in the next generation as evidenced by the near-flawless execution of...

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Asanka: PwC Under-17 Event Critical for Development

The Head Coach and High-Performance Manager of Cricket in Nigeria, Asanka Gurusinha who has been following the on-going Regional finals of the PwC National U-17 Cricket Championship has described the event as very important for the country's cricket development pathway."Events are important for Nigeria's grassroots development, and I have followed this very event and must say I am impressed at the level of coordination by the ...

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Cricket Firework in Regions for Boys National U-17 Qualifiers

More than 360 players would be fielded this weekend when the boys qualifier of the on-going PwC National U-17 Cricket Championship and the Nigeria Cricket Federation has informed that the entry is record entry on its own.Endurance Ofem, a former national male team captain, Chairman Development and Tournament Committee of the Federation who is overseeing the event informed that his team expects a very competitive...

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Ukwenya: Female Cricketers will Make the Country Proud Soon

President of Nigeria Cricket Federation Professor Yahaya Ukwenya has said the entry of close to 300 female Cricketers from 21 states last weekend for the on-going PwC National Under-17 Cricket Championship bodes well for the Country as a whole. According to him, "The effort that has been invested at the state level to raise these players to the competitive stage will be taken to a higher level at the national level...

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Teenagers upset leaders UNIBEN in Edo League

The Under 17 Cricket Club now top the table at the end of week two at the Edo State Cricket League when they dismissed league favourites UNIBEN CC with three wickets on Sunday afternoon at the Edo College Turfs. The match was week two in the League and easily was in favour of the University team who had opened their first game in the league with 183runs...

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Meet the Winners: EOY Awards

Dear cricketers, cricket lovers and lovers of cricketers, we are glad that you are here. 2020 has been much like facing all of the best spinners in the world on a day 5 pitch in the subcontinent with no wickets in hand. We made it through. We won!! And that is no mean feat. Congratulations to us all...

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ICC Confirms Nigeria for Key Cricket Engagements in 2021

The International Cricket Council, the umbrella body for the sport has confirmed Nigeria in two of the body's major activities in 2021 including Nigeria hosting one of them. In a communication sent out over the weekend, Nigeria was listed as one of the key nations penciled to vie for space for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 to be hosted in South Africa. Nigeria women's team, currently ranked 41st on the...

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NCF Facility Investment Is Underrated

While it may be too early to start raining applause on the four-year works of the present Cricket administration, it may worth the while to give thumbs-up for investment on the different ovals across the country. Though the many turfs that dot the country are not the the "81m category" ( for the initiated only), there has apparently ...

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Online Scoring Course from CricHeroes

Like the game itself, taking scores of a cricket game requires skill, preparation and a great bit of concentration. As important as it is, it is not surprising that it is often a struggle to find people who are content to sit for an entire day with their noses in a book, taking record of...

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Scout's Corner - Taiwo Mohammed

Name - Taiwo Mohammed, Date of Birth - 3rd June, Nickname - Papa, Club - Ibeju Lekki CC, Role - Bowler. In April of 2018, at the ICC Wt20 Africa A Qualifier in Lagos, Nigeria unearthed a gem. A fresh-faced, left-arm seamer took the entire subcontinent by storm. His name- Mohammed Taiwo Blessed with natural...

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Scout's Corner - Vincent Adewoye

They say "get you a man that can do both". From Flintoff to Stokes, Symonds and Kallis, all-rounders remain the glue that holds many a lineup together and, Vincent Adewoye looks set to be one of Nigeria's all-time great all-rounders. An absolute dynamite of a player who can hold his own either as a bowler...

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Development Starts Here

Rapid development, especially in a sport like cricket is heavily dependent on the availability of facilities. If there is one thing that cricketers all over Nigeria agree on, it is that our chances of progressing as a cricketing nation has been hampered by the lack of access to cricket pitches that meet international standards. Promises...

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