It was a wave of excitement across Nigeria when it was officially announced by the Board of the Nigeria Cricket Federation that the International Cricket Council has seeded the hosting right to Nigeria for the Africa Qualifier A. tournament which is expected to hold from 12th to 22nd April 2018, at the prestigious Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval, Lagos.
A Local Organizing Committee headed by the vice President of the Federation Mr. Uyi Akpata was constituted for oversight functions in planning, preparing, organizing and packaging a tournament that will linger in the hearts of Nigerians as one of the best tournaments ever hosted on home soil.
On Nigeria’s team preparations, players have been involved series of camping that trimmed 33 potential players to an eventual 14 man squad that will represent the Country in the tournament with three foreign based players from the UK, Canada and Australia also making up the team.
Accommodation at the “Glee Hotel” has been secured for players and officials during the tournament. Inspected and certified by ICC delegate Mr. Kuben Pilay on his working Visit to Nigeria in February.
Security and security details for the entire tournament have also been concluded with every Law enforcement agency officially notified as well as the Local state and Federal Government. There will be security presence at the hotel, escort with the team to and from the hotel and during training and match days.
Food and catering services have been concluded as well with emphasis on menu that will represent both local and continental dishes to suite participating countries and officials from the ICC. Breakfast and dinner will be at the hotel while lunch will be served on the pitch on training and match days.
Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval, venue of the tournament, has completely undergone remodeling to be at par with international standards. The pavilion has been re constructed to have new changing rooms and a VIP stand while the perimeter fence has also been expanded. The astro-turf playing surface has been re-laid and training nets have also been upgraded to provide practice for teams on training days. Sight screens and scoreboard have been replaced as well.
The Media will have a complete coverage of the tournament from 13th April which is expected to begin with a Team Managers/Captains meeting as well as a press conference for ICC officials/LOC and all participating countries. The coverage will also cover all match playing days and the awards/closing ceremony which is scheduled for the 21st of April.
Volunteers and Liaison officers have been carefully selected to provide support during the tournament. One Liaison officer will be attached to each team and also the officials from the ICC for the entire period of the tournament.