NIGERIA CRICKET FEDERATION MAKES FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR THE ICC MEN’S UNDER-19 WORLD CUP AFRICA DIVISION 1 QUALIFIER AS FINAL SQUAD LIST IS ANNOUNCED.
The Nigeria National Under-19 men’s team is all set for continental battle in Tanzania as they prepare to lock horns with 5 other countries in the ICC Men’s Under-19 World Cup Africa Division 1 qualifier scheduled to take place from the 21st to 30th July 2023. The long trek to the world cup began in October 2022 in Nigeria where Sierra Leone and Kenya joined Nigeria to book a ticket for this epic division 1 showdown.
Since the turn of events, Nigeria has engaged in series of preparations starting from the open camp in Abuja which lasted for 3 weeks before the end of the year 2022. The players were allowed to represent their various clubs during the 2022/2023 cricket season and returned back in march for another camp which lasted for 2 weeks. Taking a cue from the last success during the 2019 qualification process where Nigeria toured a series of countries, the board of the Federation decided to upscale the preparations by engaging the team with a pre-tournament tour in India. The Omtex ICWC Training institution was home for the Junior Yellow Greens for 3 weeks where they trained and played series of matches in preparation for the qualifier. The team returned from the tour on the 10th of June and the players were given a 10 days break before resuming with their last local camping in Benin City.
During these preparation processes, the final 14 man squad that will be flying the country’s colors in Dar’ es Salam have been announced by the Federation.
According to the Secretary General of the Federation Mr. Taiwo Oriss, in his remarks prior to the team’s departure; ‘’All modalities have been put in place to ensure that the players are fully concentrated on achieving the basic minimum of qualifying for the ICC U-19 Men’s World Cup scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka in 2024, The Board of the Federation led by Mr. Uyi Akpata have also provided all technical support and huge investments into preparations and we are very optimistic that the boys will do the country proud’’, he said.
The team will be led by long standing Captain Ridwan Abdulkareem, supported by the talented Prosper Useni. Others include Chiemelie Udekwe, Izuchukwu Okeke, Selim Salau, Joshua Asia, Joshua Sunday, Paul Pam, Chijioke Okeke and Solomon Chilemayan to mention a few. Chidi Owunbualili will make his debut for the team after being reserved over the last few month, working hard and making his way into the team deservingly so.
Complete List of 14 Players for Nigeria
1. Abdulkareem Ridwan [C]
2. Prosper Useni
3. Chiemelie Udekwe
4. Joshua Asia
5. Paul Pam
6. David Abiebhode
7. Joshua Sunday
8. Chijioke Okeke
9. Izuchukwu Okeke
10. Kareem Gafar
11. Victor Samuel
12. Chidi Onwubualili
13. Selim Salau
14. Solomon Chilemayan
Nigeria will continue preparations for the tournament in Kigali, Rwanda where they are expected to play a series of friendly matches and also have the opportunity to familiarize with the East Africa weather conditions. The Junior Yellow Greens left the shores of the country for Kigali on the 13th of July and will make their official arrival for the qualifier on the 21st of July. Other countries competing for the 1 slot ticket for in this tournament are Namibia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Sierra Leone.
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