The International Cricket Council, ICC, has expressed optimism that Nigeria could become great cricket-playing country if given the needed supports.
The ICC’s Senior Manager, Development Services, Andy Hobbs, who led an ICC 360 review team to Nigeria, said this during a press briefing/interaction at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja on Monday.
While noting that 105 countries play the game of Cricket, Hobbs said the team was in Nigeria to see how to help the country develop the game.
“Nigeria, we feel, has a huge potentials. It has a long history of cricket and we believe the country has what it takes to do well”, the leader of the delegation said.
He added that the exploits of Nigerian teams in international competitions recently showed how important the game could be in Nigeria.
“So, we are here to hear from different people, to see how we can work together to take the sport to another level,” Hobbs added.
Speaking at the event, the President of Nigeria Cricket Federation, NCF, Prof. Yahaya Ukwanya said his board was able to take the game to a higher level since taking over two years ago.
He said apart from developing a constitution for the federation, his board had been able to improve facilities nationwide while also taking the game to the doorstep of all Nigerians.
“We are doing team building from the U19 to the senior levels, bringing in new philosophies that have translated into improved outings in international competitions,” he stressed.
Prof. Ukwanya said the steady improvement being made by thee NCF had earned the country an ICC award for the best developing country in cricket, adding that more supports from the world governing body would help the country improve on its current ranking.
The ICC 360 review is a holistic assessment and screening of cricket activities in Nigeria.
The team is expected to have interactions with the NCF board, Officials from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Staff and administrators, sponsors and potential sponsors, members of the Press/Media, Stake holders, Players and non-players of the sports and parents of players before leaving the country.
The team will spend three days in Abuja before heading to Lagos on Wednesday where the consultation and interactions will continue before departing on Sunday 23rd June 2019.