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World Cup Qualifiers: Nigeria U19 Cricket team now stronger, official says

Taiwo Oriss, Secretary General of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), said the federation has assembled a stronger team more than before, ahead of the U19 World Cup Africa Division One Qualifiers.Oriss spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Ni…

Taiwo Oriss, Secretary General of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), said the federation has assembled a stronger team more than before, ahead of the U19 World Cup Africa Division One Qualifiers.

Oriss spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the backdrop of the level of preparations the team ahead of the event beginning on Sunday in Tanzania.

He said the NCF has prepared the team to compete well enough for the event.

“We have put together one of the best teams for the tournament, in fact, a stronger team than ever before.

“We know what is at stake. We know it is just one slot available and we have prepared the team adequately for the task ahead,’’ he said.

The Secretary recalled the team’s qualification in 2019, a feat that took the country to her first ever World Cup appearance in 2020 but regretted their failure to qualify again in 2021.

He said the board reviewed the lapses suffered in 2021 and have worked to correct them.

“We have better chances of qualifying this time.We have been able to look at what the chances are and have been able to identify the lapses suffered earlier.

“After the team’s qualification from Division Two in September in 2022, they have been in camp in both Benin and Lagos.

“In June, the federation sent the team for two-week training in India, the Omtex CWC training institute, which has one of the best facilities in India.

“At the moment, the team is in Kigali, Rwanda for a training tour where they face some selected Rwanda teams in preparation for the tournament in Tanzania,’’ Oriss said.

He said that the team has got lots of support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, as well as motivation from the president of the federation.

“They have the support of the Ministry as well as the biggest motivation from Uyi Akpata, the NCF president, who is doing everything to ensure the team’s qualification.

“I really don’t see anybody that can stand in the way of Nigeria this time. We have done our analysis and have looked at the teams we are facing.

“I think it is our time,’’ Oriss noted.

NAN reports that Nigeria will face hosts Tanzania, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Namibia and Uganda for the sole ticket to the 2024 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

The Qualifiers is scheduled for July 23 to 31.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria