The 2ND of the South East Junior Cricket championship has kicked off in Enugu with five participating states from the zone.
The Regional Development Officer (South’east) of the Nigerian Cricket Federation (NCF) Charles Obasi, said the championship was named ‘Omezue Okoro-Ezikoro cup after the father of the sponsor and member representing the south east in the board of the NCF.
“The competition aims at discovering, harnessing and exposing young cricketers in the junior category to graduate and compete favourably at the senior level.
Obasi stated that it was hosted by the Government Secondary School, Afikpo in 2018 and won by Imo state as the present five participating teams include: Government Secondary School, Owerri (Imo) and the Bishop Crowther Seminary Awka (Anambra) state
“The other teams are Government secondary school Afikpo (Ebonyi) as Enugu, the hosts, has two teams- Union secondary schools (host school) and St.Patricks secondary school Emene.
He said the NCF was not involved in the selection of the teams by the states as it only wrote to them to provide their best team.
“It is true that we know the schools that perform creditably in the sport but the states know the criteria used in selecting their teams,” he said.
The NCF South East Zonal Coach, Chike Mbamalu, said the championship had met its objective of harnessing the talents in the young cricketers and positioning them for stardom.
“The technical level of play presently is high as the young players are springing surprises with commendable performances.
He said that some flaws has been noticed in their play as beginners but would be corrected to give them the opportunity of playing for the national teams.
“We would make them play to instructions and watch the more established players play while organising refresher trainings for the coaches.
The Coach of the Ebonyi state team, Jephtar Ugwu, said that his team would not make the mistake of missing the trophy as it did on home soil in 2018 but will it this time.
The result of some of the matches include: Government Secondary School Afikpo (Ebonyi) defeated Union Secondary School (Enugu) while Bishop Crowder Seminary (Anambra) defeated St. Patricks Secondary School Emene (Enugu).