The National Under-17 Cricket Championship for Boys and Girls is the biggest grassroots tournament in the NCF program of activities and all is now set for the 3rd Edition, under the sustained sponsorship of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The championship which has grown over the course of the last 2 editions will experience a record-breaking of 31 states featuring in the Boys category and 25 states in the Girls category respectively in this 3rd edition.

Ahead of the finals, there will be a qualification series among states across the 6 zones in the country from the 28th – 30th January 2022, and a regional team will be selected for the National Final scheduled to take place from the 15th -20th February 2022, in Abuja. The regional team selection is to allow all-inclusive participation that reflects the goal of spreading the game to every nook and crannies of the country.

Speaking with Tolu Adeleke Partner with PwC, he gave an insight to the partnership with the NCF thus far :

“The National Under-17 Cricket Championship sponsored by PwC Nigeria is an avenue for PwC to solve societal problems especially in the areas of youth and teenage development. Thus, we are extremely proud of our collaboration with the Nigeria Cricket Federation. In line with our global strategy, The New Equation, we are delivering sustained outcomes with our involvement with the National U-17 Cricket Championship program now in its 3rd year and other developmental programmes of the NCF- ultimately achieving our overall Societal Purpose of Reimagining Africa Together. We hope for more of these avenues to drive positive change and look forward to a very successful championship tournament this year.” He said.

For this year’s zonal qualification, FCT will host the North Central zone, Kaduna State will host the North West zone, Gombe State will host the North East Zone, Ebonyi State will host the South East Zone, Edo State will host the South-South zone and Finally, Oyo State will host the South West Zone.

The second edition which was a major success witnessed South-South as the runaway champions in both the Boys and Girls categories record-breaking performance from 14 years old Piety Lucky, who became the first female cricketer to score a century in the History of Nigeria and North West Africa, which also earned her the record of being the youngest female to ever make the Nigeria Senior Women’s team.

South-South will look to retain their championship Status but not without a fight from other zones that have improved tremendously over the last 1 year. North West will always be a firm contender, not forgetting the South West and the South East. The North East continues to grow despite the security challenges as 3 out of 6 states will feature in this year’s event. The biggest news perhaps will be Gombe and Taraba states that will be producing both Boys and Girls for the play-offs.