The T-20I bilateral series between the Nigeria National Men’s Cricket Team, Yellow-Greens and the Sierra Leonean national team will start on Tuesday at the University of Lagos Cricket Oval.
According to the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) the T-20I Bilateral is part of the Federation’s elite cricket development plan.
Femi Solebo, the Local Organising Committee Chairman of the Series told reporters in Lagos the Federation plans to keep the national team in good shape and primed for international encounters.
Mr Solebo, who is also a board member of the NCF, added this is also a new strategic way of operation by the newly elected board.
“The games against Sierra Leone have historical and developmental relevance to all that we do. We intend to keep the national teams busy while expanding our development agendas,” the LOC Chairman said ahead of the first of the six series of matches scheduled in the tie.
He added: “This particular encounter will help us prime our players for the forthcoming T-20 World Cup Qualifiers. But among other things will also help us size up the options we have for the national team, keeping in mind the huge investments at grassroots and age-grade cricket development’’,
The new board of the Nigeria Cricket Federation led by Uyi Akpata which was voted in recently had set a target of 250,000 new recruitments into the game yearly through an expansive development campaign.
This campaign is driven by the school system and will provide the bedrock for development in both boys and girls category.
Nigeria’s Head Coach and High-Performance Manager, Asanka Gurursinha, said the national team is ready for the Series and there have been changes made since the last Tri-Series tournament in Uganda last month.
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“The Nigerian team is a fairly young side and has been growing and getting better with every game they play together. Exposing them to more international matches like this would put them to test and hone them for better performance. I believe this Series will do that for the team. This series is very important for both teams as they prepare for the ICC T20 World cup qualifier in November, so we expect a very competitive series’’ Asanka said.
Nigeria will take on the Sierra Leone team back-to-back from Tuesday, October 19 to Thursday 21 daily at the UNILAG Cricket Oval, before their first break on Friday, October 22. Three other matches are scheduled before their departure on 27.
The Nigerian team will be taking part in the International Cricket Council’s T-20I World Cup Qualifier for Africa, in Rwanda, later in November 2021.