ABUJA – The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) on Tuesday said it has selected 25 cricketers for the national U-15 male team.
Uthe Ogbimi, the team’s coach, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the U-15 national championship was used in selecting the players for the national team.
He said the competition was an avenue to exhibit how far cricket was inculcated in schools sports programme.
“These 25 selected players will become the standing U-15 squad that can fit into the senior team in the future.
“We will take a closer look at them so that when the senior players are ageing we will have quality players that will take their place.
“We want to ensure that the standard of Nigeria in the World Cricket League did not diminish.
Ogbimi said the federation would be monitoring the players from their zones.
“Federation has instructed our coaches in the zones to keep a closer look at these players and pay more attention to their developmental process.
“ So that in few years to come they can form the bulk of the U-17 team,” he said.
Five regions participated in the just-concluded first national U-15 boys championship with South-West emerging champions after 134 runs ahead of South-East.
The coach said South-West winning the competition did not come as a surprise because Lagos State has a Premier Cricket League running.
“The championship enables us to assess the level of work going on in other zones like South-West which comprises Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states and has cricket developmental programmes going on over the years.
“The Premier Cricket’s League, which is the best organise competition is going on in Lagos, and a lot of kids are being exposed to the game, while other regions don’t have such leagues.
“It is competitions like this we use to showcase the amount of work that have taken place in other zones,’’ Ogbimi said.
He, however, said there was no international U-15 tournament which Nigeria would take part in for now.
“But we will continue to engage the players in national competition to develop their talents,’’ he said. (NAN)