Saturday, July 02, 2022

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, we have a few more reports of happenings in April for you.

We will begin from the eastern part of the country where the 11th edition of the South East Cricket Championship (the Chuma Anosike Cup) brought together many promising stars and gave them the opportunity to shine at the Umuahia township stadium, Aba State. The event saw many of them shine in all departments of the game, showcasing the level of commitment that has gone into cricket development in the last few years. In the male category, Anambra defeated neighbors Enugu in an entertaining final. While in the female category, Ebonyi showed superiority over Anambra to emerge as the winner. The President of the Federation was at the closing ceremony to express his delight at the work put in by the administrators in the region and for the support he has been enjoying so far.

Then for a quick trip to the north of the Niger river, the Kaduna State cricket team paid a courtesy visit to the executive governor of the State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. It is worthy of mention that His Excellency is an avid supporter of the state cricket team and we hear that the reconstruction of the cricket ground in Kaduna is at an advanced stage. We also hear that the team is about to jet out to Uganda for a mini-series against the cranes. The last time this happened was in September of 2021 and it is heart-warming that this is on the horizon again.

We now want to fling the gist left of the border…out all the way to Achimota, Ghana. The surface there is currently getting replaced with a new one, and guess who the consultant is for the project? Yes, you guessed right. Our own Yemi Amusa is lending a helping hand to the Ghanaians on this Jollof partnership. The President, Uyi Akpata, was also on the ground in Ghana to see to the start of another great partnership between Nigeria and Ghana. 

The President could not hide his excitement as he inspected the reconstruction of the pitches that will host the rest of Africa for the All Africa Games next year.

Let us cross the border back into Lagos where the Club Cricket Committee treated the whole of Lagos to a maiden Easter Cricket Fiesta. The major focus of it was on children and giving them maximum holiday experience with a mighty bouncing castle, face painting, ice cream, candy floss, and an assortment of food. The first-of-its-kind event was hosted at the elegant Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Ground, against the background of league games between clubs battling themselves for positional bragging rights in the CCC League. The Fiesta was tuned mainly for family, with many of the cricket faithful streaming in with their better halves and their children. For sure, many are already looking forward to the next edition of this wonderful event.

The same was also replicated in the ancient city of Benin as the state association treated all present to ceremonial matches, funfair, refreshments, and lots more. 

Let us not forget, however, that the Indian Premier League is currently going on and several players are already lighting the world stage on fire. The main point of interest in this year's edition is that newcomers are the ones making waves in the tournament. The Lucknow SuperGiants and the Gujarat Titans have defied all odds and are currently occupying 2 of the top 4 positions on the log. Even the defending champions are currently languishing at the foot of the table with only one win in nine games. If the excitement so far in this year's edition is anything to go by, at least one newcomer should be able to stake a claim in the final.

Finally, there is awesome news that has gladdened our hearts and that we feel will gladden your hearts too. If you open the Guinness Book of World Records today, a Nigerian is currently featuring prominently in the sports section. That Nigerian is a cricketer and he is one of our own. We had preempted Guinness when we wrote about him last year after his exploits against Sierra Leone, but we are more than glad to bring the news back to you one more time. Peter Aho has bowled his way into history books as the bowler who holds the best bowling record in T20i. With his 6 for 5 at the Unilag Oval in October of 2021, no other bowler in world cricket holds better bowling returns than our own Peter Aho. 

That will be all for now. We hope the next month brings us even more excitement before the rain brings everything to a halt. 

- A Groundsman



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