NIGERIA’S LONG TREK TO THE ICC U-19 WORLD CUP 2019 BEGINS
- Nigeria U-19 team leaves the shores of the country to seek qualification.
- Lugogo and Kyambogo, Uganda to host the junior “Yellow Greens” in pre-tournament
- Nigeria to battle ten other countries for a qualification ticket to Division 1
The Nigeria U-19 National Team has begun the long trek to the ICC U-19 world cup to be hosted in Australia in 2019. Nigeria will have to battle for qualification into Division 1 and eventually pick a spot for the world cup. The immediate quest will be to conquer division 2 in a tournament which is expected to run from 17th – 29 August 2018 in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Ten other Countries will be participating in the tournament with only 3 qualifying tickets available for grabs.
The junior Yellow Greens began preparations for this tournament with the first phase camping in Benin City, Edo State earlier this year. 27 players were picked from the pool of 40 for the second phase camp which took place in Kaduna in April 2018. In June, the 27 players selected resumed for the 3rd phase of camping in Kaduna and after a series of trial matches, a final list of 14 players was selected to represent the Country.
NIGERIA U-19 PRE-TOURNAMENT TOUR TO UGANDA
The Junior Yellow Greens left the shores of Nigeria on Monday 6th to begin their pre-tournament tour in Uganda. The team will be led once again by Sylvester Okpe, to be assisted by Bating Maestro Runsewe Suleiman. The team is expected to play 5 friendly matches against the Uganda U-19 and U-23 sides with four games to be played in Lugogo Cricket oval and 1 game in Kyambogo. All friendly matches will be 50 overs.
Nigeria will play their first 2 friendly matches on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th August in Lugogo, before playing the U-23 side on Saturday 11th August in Kyambogo.
The final 2 friendly matches will be played on Tuesday 14th and Thursday 16th August in Lugogo, before leaving Kampala for Protchefstroom on the 17th of August for the tournament proper.
Nigeria will hope to pick up 1 of the 3 qualifying tickets to division one and will fancy their chances for at least a semi-final place having being drawn in group B with fellow arch rivals Ghana, Mozambique, Lesotho and Gambia. Nigeria will open their encounter on the 19th of August against the former Gold coast Nation (Ghana) before engaging Mozambique on the 22nd of August.
Other fixtures in group B include Nigeria vs Lesotho on the 23rd and the final group game vs Gambia on the 24th. Two teams will qualify from each group with 1st position in group “A” vs Second position in group “B” and vice versa.
The 11 countries in the tournament are. Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Botswana, Rwanda and Zambia.
Musa Ehizoje Bodie
Public Relations Officer (NCF)