South West Under-19 Cricket championship tagged ‘’Prof. Jide Bademosi Cup’’ is set for the 3rd edition from 2nd to 5th March 2022 in Ibadan. The tournament which was conceived 4 years ago was targeted primarily at supporting the overall cricket development in the South West and to honor and celebrate Professor Jide Bademosi for his immeasurable contribution to the game over the past decades.
The championship which is sponsored by Energy Mining Recourses (EMR) through a former Nigeria International and one of the most reverenced bowlers in the country’s history Mr. Seye Fadahunsi, is to provide a championship at Age grade level that will ultimately prepare players for the senior national team.
Speaking with the tournament coordinator Mr. Okon Ukpong, team mate at the national team with Fadahunsi, he highlighted some of the benefits of the competition thus far. ‘’ We chose the Under-19 competition because we discovered there was a gap between the Under-17 and the national team so we decided to make provision for a tournament that will prepare and provide a direct pathway for players into the national team. This tournament have been very fruitful because it complements the development initiatives of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, as some players who participated in the previous editions have gone ahead to represent the country at different levels.
Ondo and Ekiti states will make their debut in this competition, joining Lagos, Ogun and Oyo. The competition has given these states an opportunity to concentrate and focus on grassroots development of the sports which has not been evident in the last decade. Players from these states now have a domestic competition to look forward to thereby increasing the level of competitiveness among states from the South West region.
According to Mr. Fadahunsi,’’Professor Jide Bademosi played for Nigeria and West Africa and was team managers to the Nigeria National team in 1982. He also played for University of Ibadan and was chairman of the University Sports council and eventually became the Chairman of West Africa Cricket Council, we played under him at state level and those where the best days of our cricket stories. We honor him with this competition because he never stopped contributing to this game even till this day. This level of passion and commitment gives us the motivation to continue to give our quota to ensure that Cricket continues to thrive in the South West Region’’.
Oyo State had been winners of the last 2 editions, but Lagos and Ogun States are looking to change the narrative and replicate the success recorded during the National Under-17 zonal qualification series where Lagos emerged champions in January 2022.
MUSA EHIZOJE BODIE
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