The zonal qualification series of the National Under-17 Cricket Championship powered by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), ended successfully across 5 zones in the country. The series which had new States participating for the first time witnessed high level of competition and upsets as new champions emerged from the zone.
In the South-South, Edo State was too strong for all other states as they reign supreme against, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta and Bayelsa, to once again cement their dominance in that region.
South East experienced the usual rivalry between Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo State in the Girls category but the development strides in Ebonyi over the last 4 years became evident as they edged out Anambra in the final game to become champions.
The biggest upset in the entire series was recorded in the South West zone when Ekiti State, nicknamed “Giant Slayer” conquered the giants of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state to emerge champions displaying pure grit, determination and doggedness in all their matches. Ondo state also made debut appearance in Girls’ competition which highlights the grassroots development of the sport in the state.
Kaduna state brushed aside Jigawa and Zamfara State in the North West zone to emerge winner. Gift Simeon caught the eyes of all as she became the youngest player to participate in the series across the country at 9 years old only. The future sure looks bright for Zamfara State.
Another major upset in the North Central zone was the last 2 runs victory by Kogi State after an intense encounter against Kwara in the final match of the qualification series. Kwara State was poised to win after Kogi could only manage half a century in 20 overs. However, they held on to record their first ever zonal championship success.
Awards were presented to deserving players and states in different categories.
- V.P + 10,000 cash
- Best Batsman + 10,000 cash
- Best Bowler + 10,000 cash
- Best Fielder + 10,000 cash
- Best Behaved + 10,000 cash
- SOUTH- SOUTH—————EDO STATE
- SOUTH EAST——————-EBONYI STATE
- SOUTH WEST——————EKITI STATE
- NORTH CENTRAL————-KOGI STATE
- NORTH WEST—————- -KADUNA STATE
The National Finals for the Girls category will come up in Benin City will from the 27th -31st of January 2021.
Zonal qualification for the boys will take place across 6 regions in the country from the 21st to 24th January 2021.