Abuja- Team Kaduna on Sunday in Abuja emerged champions of the 2014 National Men’s Cricket Championship organised by the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Team Kaduna defeated Team Kwara by 121 runs to lift the Dr John Abebe’s trophy.
Kaduna batted first and secured 279 runs in 50 overs for the loss of eight wickets, while Kwara secured 158 runs all out in 39.3 overs.
To get to the final, Kaduna defeated Team Edo and Enugu respectively in a round robin challenge on Saturday.
Head Coach of Team Kaduna, Joe Onoja, told NAN that his team was worthy champions having brushed aside every team that came its way.
Onoja said that the win would strengthen the team for the challenges ahead.
“I have a well disciplined team; you can see the way they played, you will have no option than to appreciate them.
“The secret of our victory is just discipline and dedication to the game. There is no way you can move forward without these two principles,’’ Onoja said.
Emeka Onyeama, President of NCF said the championship met all expectations.
“This game is gradually taking shape in Nigeria and the sponsor of this championship Dr John Abebe, wants this game to be played across the country.
“Edo state was here in this edition; the state has never featured in this tournament for so many years but today, the players came.
“Enugu was here and the state has never featured in this tournament for a long time but because of the way we recreated the game, it has given other teams opportunity to compete in finals.
“So, it’s a great thing that we have seen other talents from other different parts of Nigeria,’’ Onyeama said.
NAN reports that some players of Team Kaduna who distinguished themselves went home with different awards.
They include Daniel Gim who won the bowler and cricketer of the series with a total of 10 wickets as well as Yusuf Gershon who won batsman of the series.
Other award winners are Godwin Onoja who won the fielder of the series and Prosper Mgbawa who emerged the wicket keeper of the series.
Isaac Okpe, won the man of the final match, while the second and third place shield went to Kwara and Edo respectively.
The highpoint of the three-day championship was the presentation of trophy to the winning team, Kaduna, by Mr Caleb Gidado, the representative of the Minister of Sports.
NAN reports that five teams from the five geo-political zones of the country excluding the North-East participated in the championship.
The teams are Enugu for South-East zone; Oyo represented the South-West; Kwara played for the North-Central; Kaduna for North-West, while Edo represented South-South.
North-East failed to participate because of insurgency in the area. (NAN)