NCF moves PwC National U-17 finals to February 14

The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) has disclosed that the national finals of the fifth PwC U-17 Cricket Championship will now hold from February 14 to 19 at the twin ovals of Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.  According to NCF General Manager, Emeka Igwilo, who doubles as the co-chair of the 2024 organising committee of the event, said the one-week move was necessary, among other things, to allow for regions that had pleaded for a shift in their qualifying dates to have time to practice and bond ahead of the finals. 

“So far, out of six regions, four, including: South-West, South-South, North-Central, and North East, have all concluded their regional qualifications. North-West and South-East will be having their regional finals this weekend, and this means that the kids will have a few days to report to Abuja for the national finals.  “The NCF board has asked for an additional week for them to assemble their regional teams and a few days of practice before the national finals, hence the shift. Some major logistics for the event will also benefit from the shift as well,” he added. 

In all, 34 states registered boys’ teams for the age-grade event, while 25 states entered girls teams. 

From the concluded regional events so far, Ogun State’s girls’ team and Oyo State’s boys’ team qualified from the South-West qualifiers.  

In North Central, it was Niger State’s boys and Kwara State’s girls’ team that ruled the series. Edo State boys and girls team dominated the South-South qualifiers just as Gombe State ruled the North East.  According to Igwilo, “Each regional team is expected to be represented by their best talents; this includes having the best from every team that participated. It is our way of ensuring the best talents get exposure irrespective of their team’s performance at the regional finals. It also fosters integration along the regional line.”   The PwC National U-17 Championship has become the fodder for nurturing and progressing talents to the national team.
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