cricket

The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) says it is ready to host the International Cricket Council (ICC) U-19 Africa Division 2 World Cup qualifiers in September.

Musa Ehizoje, the NCF’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, that preparations were in place to host the eight-nation tournament in Abuja.

“Nigeria is very ready to host the tournament. The most important aspect of hosting a tournament is already in place, which are the grounds.

“We have twin pitches at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja and they are ready,”  Ehizoje said.

Considering the prevalent security challenges in the country, the NCF official said that the ICC is satisfied with the country’s security details.

“There are no challenges with regards to security.

“Before any country will be given the right to host any tournament, ICC must be comfortable with your security plan and they are comfortable with our security details.

“Nigeria can boast of the best security architecture in hosting tournaments as there  never been a case where there are security threats in our competitions both local and international,” he said.

Ehizoje said the decision to grant Nigeria the hosting rights was due to her grassroots development efforts in promoting the game.

“This is not the first time Nigeria is hosting an ICC qualifier. We hosted the T20 Qualifier A in 2018 in Lagos.

“This will be the second time and it is because the world cricket governing body has seen what Nigeria is doing with regards to grassroots cricket development.

“Abuja also provides a natural solution to host the competition because of the twin pitches at the stadium and both are turf wickets.

“This is a 50 overs competition and you will require a minimum of two pitches at close proximity and that’s why Abuja has been chosen,” Ehizoje added.

The tournament is scheduled for Sept. 28 to Oct. 9. (NAN)

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