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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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Musings of A Groundsman - Speed Kills

Sanath saw the future. Years before the first-ever T20 ball was bowled in county cricket in 2003, Sanath had fashioned a new tactic that has stayed relevant to date. So flawless was this approach, he led Sri Lanka to a World Cup triumph in 1996 without losing a game. Many batters, indeed, nations have since fashioned styles after him and the batting game has not remained the same. T20 is the shortest format in international cricket. It means you have ONLY 120 balls...

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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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The Storm Before The Calm?

...yes, you read the title right. When the team to face West African neighbors Sierra Leone was announced, many of us were sure that this was the team that would step out to defend Nigeria’s honor in the ICC Men’s T20WC Africa Qualifier.  We thought that the 6-match T20I series was a chance to give the boys some match practice while racking up a few ranking points. We can pretty much check those boxes as done. After all, 5 wins out of 6...

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Bilateral T20i Fallout: Yellow-Green Re-shuffled on the way to Kigali

While most of us were watching the youthful Yellow Greens of the Nigerian side ride roughshod over the Patriots of Sierra Leone with their 5-1 Lampooning of their visitors, the Nigerian handlers were growing grey hairs. The victory against Sierra Leone wasn’t in any way a measure of the might they intended to approach Kigali’s qualifiers with, and the incessant struggles with top-order batsmen compounded the yo-yo form of the bowlers until Peter Aho came to the rescue....

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Ahoy! Its Peter (Again) Steering the Nigerian Ship to Safety

Whatever is written (and said) about the six-match bilateral encounter between Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the lone run of youngster Peter Aho will form the fulcrum of the analyses henceforth. Six wickets in 3.4 overs, one maiden, and five runs! You just can’t have a better game than that - at least says the International Cricket Council’s T20i statistics page. For now, the sun revolves around the shy bowler and he seems to have enough frame to carry the weight of his achievement....

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ICC U-19 World Cup Africa Qualifier, Nigeria in the Spotlight

Barring any glitch, the Nigerian team for the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier will be touching down in Kigali, on Monday, September 27, to begin the Covid-19 protocols ahead of the expected testy encounters. For once, the spotlight will be on the lads from Nigeria, for the obvious role they played at the last edition where they ran away ‘unexpectedly’, with the lone World Cup ticket at the event, to the chagrin of tournament favorites....

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Nigeria’s Cricket Team is on the Right Path- Asanka

Head Coach and High-Performance Manager of Nigeria's Cricket Team, Asanka Gurusinha, has said the series of defeats that the national male team has undergone in the ongoing Pearl of Africa T20 series in Uganda is good for the team. The Sri-Lankan former Cricket World Cup winner said this as the team rounded up preparation to engage Kenya and Uganda in the last two final matches of the ongoing tournament on Tuesday. “They are living up to our expectations....

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The Cranes doing the double over the Yellow Greens

If you are a Nigerian, a cricket lover, and a frequent reader of our blog it won’t be news to you that both the senior Female and Male national teams are out of the country flying the nation’s flag. The women seek a spot at the ICC women’s T20 world cup while the men hope to shave off the rust, and sharpen their skills while learning in the process as they prepare for the ICC men T20 world cup qualifiers in October by participating in the Pearl of Africa T20I series...

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Nigeria Upbeat on Departure for Tri Series against, Uganda and Kenya

The National Men’s Cricket Team has jetted out to Entebbe in Uganda on Thursday afternoon to honor a Tri-Series with the national teams of Uganda and Kenya which get underway from Friday, September 10, 2021. The event which is the first international outing for the national team in close to two years owing to the pandemic will see the new-look national team put to test. Asanka Gurusinha, Nigeria’s foreign national Cricket Coach and High-Performance...

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A Change of Guards?

Nigeria Head Coach, Asanka Gurusinha has today announced a 20 man list that will form the core of the country's national team for the rest of the year. This release comes on the heels of the National Men's Championships and the National Sports Festival, both of which were keenly watched by Asanka, his assistants and national selectors. The release presents more than a few surprises. Below, we try to decode what this all means....

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Edo Crowned National Men’s Cricket Champion

Edo state’s men team outran their Kaduna State counterpart with 57 runs on Wednesday to emerge champion of the National Men’s Cricket Championship in Benin City, Edo State. Team Captain Peter Aho, a prominent member of the National Under-19 Cricket World Cup team last year in South Africa said the team owed their victory to discipline and the huge measure of support that they enjoyed from the Edo State Cricket Association....

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Lagos Tackles Kaduna in Men’s Championship Semis

The on-going National Men’s Cricket Championship has entered a feverish pitch as Semi-Final Matches get underway with battle line draws between Lagos and Kaduna on Monday in Benin.Both teams boast truckloads of players with national caps under their belt and are both nursing sores from their last match defeats in the preliminaries. The uncanny similarity in the matches they both lost was that it happened in the last over....

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It’s going to be a spectacle

Absolutely bonkers when the country’s finest line up against each other in a feast of cricket and we are here for the fireworks. To think that we will have two high-level competitions within one week or so of each other is just amazing. We are well on the way to making up for the lost time. The last time I felt anywhere near this level of excitement feels like a lifetime ago. Thankfully, we have come out of the doldrums. Shoutout to all the companies...

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Pool B Semi Finalists Emerge With One Match to Spare

Both Kaduna and Oyo States have registered themselves in the Semi-final of the on-going National Men’s Cricket Championship after they each pick maximum points available in the two matches they have featured in so far. Kaduna extended their batting might over Ebonyi with 83 runs while Oyo dumped Rivers in 8.1 Overs having knocked off their wickets 66 runs in the first innings of the twenty Overs game. The two winning sides will square off...

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Kaduna and Oyo Register Victories as Pool B Matches Resume

The 2021 National Men's Cricket Championship entered its second phase in Benin today as Kaduna and Oyo states drew closer to picking the remaining two Semi-final slots at the ten-day event. Lagos and Edo had picked the first two Semifinals tickets. Kaduna, a powerhouse of the game in the country overran Rivers in their opening match earlier today with nine runs to make an early statement.The team featuring one of Nigeria's finest bowler, Isaac Okpe...

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Cricket: Lagos, Edo Qualify for Men's Championship Semis

Lagos and Edo States served a nail-biting duel in the closing match of Pool A at the National Men's Championship in Benin City. The host state humbled the star-studded Lagos team with 4 runs.Despite the Loss, Lagos still topped the group leaving Edo to second place, while dashing the hopes of Anambra who had earlier in the day shoved Kwara aside hoping to ride on Edo's defeat to the Semis. Uthe Ogbimi, national under 19 Coach who is also working closely...

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Cricket: National Men’s Championship Gets Underway in Benin, Monday

Eight teams will be on parade from Monday, March 22nd to 31st, 2021 when Umpire calls play for the National Cricket Men’s Championship at the Edo Boys High School, Cricket High-Performance Center in Benin City, Edo State. Yahaya, Ukwenya, President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation said the 10-day Championship is a key event on the Federation’s Calendar given the weight of international commitments that the country is committed to...

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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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T20 Cricket: A Fiery Furnace

T20 cricket is a short game but long in suspense, drama and pressure. The game to all intents and purposes is a Pressure game and played in a Pressure - Cooker environment. It is a game that is merciless, exacting, brutal and takes no prisoners. Demanding all in terms of spirit, soul and body, it is ultra-competitive and akin to Gladiators in a medieval Roman Amphitheater. It is an admixture of blood, sweat and fire. The players...

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NEW FRONTIERS: End of one era, the beginning of another

It is time to bid farewell to our heroes and welcome new champions. The 2021 Men and Women’s Cricket Championship will be a swansong for some and a launching pad for many. For those in the evening of their international career, they may want to leave on a high note. For those that the early morning sunshine is on their careers, they may want to announce their arrival with very loud statements. There will be an exchange of baton....

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Obruthe Clive Ogbimi: A GREAT PLAYER and an even GREATER COACH

Few sights give greater joy than an Uthe Ogbimi classical on-drive or a flick off his pads. He was and still is a great batsman with an array of shots around the wicket. He pulled with relish, hooked with aplomb drove with supple wrists. For me, the real greatness of this genuine soldier of cricket is in imparting cricket knowledge and skills to youngsters. Uthe came alive in Coaching. Committed, passionate, resourceful...

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Cricket Federation Celebrates Ex-Captain At 80

The Nigeria Cricket Federation has announced that the life of dedication and professionalism on the game by Professor Olajide Bademosi; who clocks 80 years old on February 25, 2021 is one that should be emulated by aspiring players of the game. President of the Federation, Professor Yahaha Ukwenya said Bademosi modeled what a complete athlete was. He excelled on and off the pitch. "He represented Nigeria for eighteen years and was captain of the national team...

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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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2020 in Review: Many Colours of A Broken Cricket Year

Despite the lull, lockdown and perhaps loss that the year has been for cricketers globally, in Nigeria, the year opened with a World Cup experience and is closing with the unveiling of a new coach. Both of which are unprecedented in the 105 years that the game has been documented here.But hey, let's not dwell on the upside for too long, we are also going to try ...

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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 Announces 25 Man High Performance Camp

The Nigeria Cricket Federation has released the names of the 25 Players who will go into a 1 Week High-Performance Camp to be led by newly appointed head coach, Asanka Gurusinha. This camping period follows the Intra-Squad Triangular Series that was played over the course of last week which involved 36 of the best players from around the country...

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Nigeria Cricket Federation Unveils Sri Lankan Foreign Coach

Maria Whophil, a Deputy Director with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has formally unveiled Asanka Gurusinha as the Head Coach and High Performance Manager of Cricket for Nigeria at the Media Center of the Moshood Abiola Stadium on Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Abuja. Gurusinha who was picked ahead of 32...

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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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81 Million Reasons For Onion Scarcity

There is no society without its own challenges, the way these challenges are handled, however, reveal the capacity of the leadership of each society. At least, we now know that even supposedly strong democracies can fail or falter in the face of an issue like the Covid-19, health crisis. Of late, it has become apparent that...

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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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The Unending Cycle of Misdirection

Latest Yellow Green squad announcement has once again shown that cricket is not immune to the godfatherism that plagues many other spheres of our lives as a people. After 4 days of gruelling trials, a 14 man list has been released, comprising of 9 players from the trials to be joined by 4 of the youngsters...

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