The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) has announced a partnership with Nigeria’s topmost global account firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) to stage the maiden edition of the National Under 17 Cricket Championship.
A press statement from the federation signed by its Public Relations Officer, Musa Ehizoje, said the championship which features male and female was structured to provide the next generation of cricketers to represent the nation in both domestic and international tournaments in the near future.
The statement said an elimination series across the six geo-political zones with 19 states participating would take place between August 22 and 26, 2019 for girls, while the boys will take their turn between August 28 and September 2, 2019.
It further said one team would qualify from each zone to compete in Abuja for the national finals scheduled to take place from September 19 to 30, 2019.
The statement quoted the President of the Federation, Professor Yahaya Ukwenya as saying the championship would serve as the feeder channel and a clear transition pathway to the national Under 19 and eventually the senior national team.
He said the programme corresponds with the PwC brand which stands for accountability, sustainable development, and continuity just as NCF brand.
According to him, “The 1st phase of the Naija Kids Cricket grassroots development program which saw over 3000 kids introduced to the sports in 2018 hallmarks the flourishing relationship between both parties,” he said.
Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Edo, and Rivers states will be converging in Rivers State for the South- South Eliminations.
In the South-East, Enugu will host Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo states, while, FCT will host Kogi, Kwara and Niger states for the North Central elimination series.
Other states vying for a ticket to the national finals include Ekiti, Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Osun in the South West region with Oyo State set to host.
Finally, Jigawa and Kaduna states will slug it out for the North West ticket in Kaduna.
General Manager of the Federation Emeka Igwilo said; “This is one of the most important events on our calendar year as it holds a lot for the future of the national teams and also helps us develop different technical capacities, including coaching, umpiring and scoring at different regions. This tournament will also afford the states the opportunity to showcase their talents and depth of work.”
A male and a female team each will qualify from the regions to compete at the national finals slated for September 19 to 30 in Abuja.