Lagos, March 28, 2023 [contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form] Uyi Akpata, President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), on Tuesday said the federation would place on contract 16 players of the women’s national team beginning from April 1.
Akpata told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the ongoing NCF Women’s T20 Invitational in Lagos the idea was to help in improving the women’s game in the country.
“Contracting the national women’s team players will put them in the right frame of mind to contribute and concentrate to the game of cricket,” he said.
The NCF president added that the objective of the tournament was not for Nigeria to host and win.
”It is to give the ladies enough playing time ahead of the Women’s World Cup qualifiers in October.”
He however acknowledged that the women’s game had taken several giant strides over the years.
“If we are going to look at where we have made gains in the last five years, it is with regards to female cricket.
“We have moved our ranking from 38 to 28 in the world and that was on the basis of organsing this tournament in 2022.
“But the end game is our qualification to the World Cup. And this is just the beginning because the Nigerian team has a very good chance and we are just going to do all that is possible to ensure adequate preparations,” Akpata said.
The NCF President also said the next edition of the event would have no less than eight teams.
“This is just a step, we had to adjust the dates of the tournament due to the general elections. Earlier, the aim was to make it an eight-team tournament.
“Nigeria is an anchor for developing talents around the region.
“In 2024 therefore, we are hoping to get Mali tonjoin the tournament, as well as Gambia who did not make it this year.
“We are also looking at having a team from East Africa and hopefully a European team.
“With all that we have put in this year, we already have a long list of countries wanting to participate,” he said.
Naija247news reports that the tournament holding at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) began on Monday and will end on Sunday