Nigeria’s cricket team set to defend Africa U19 title in Rwanda

Nigeria’s under-19 cricket team better known as Junior Yellow-Green, on Tuesday, arrived in Kigali, Rwanda ahead of the defence of the title it won to participate in its first Cricket World Cup.

The Nigerian contingent had been camped in Harare, Zimbabwe on a 10-day pre-tournament tour for the last leg of their preparation for the championship whose winner will fill the last of Africa’s spots at the ICC under-19 cricket championship in 2022.

Speaking ahead of the tournament, Uthe Ogbimi, Nigeria’s coach, said his team was well prepared. He also said that his players would take the event one game at a time.

“We are here at the ICC Under-19 Africa World Qualifier as the defending champions and we are aware that this puts a lot of attention on us. No team at this event is ordinary and we hope to treat everyone with such respect,” Ogbimi said.

Namibia, six-time winners of the event and last edition’s runner-up, Uganda, Tanzania, and host Rwanda make up the list of teams jostling for honour at the eight-day tournament.

Nigeria will play its first game of the qualifiers against host Rwanda on Friday before taking on Tanzania on Sunday, Uganda on Monday, and Namibia on Wednesday.

Boniface Oche, the team captain, will lead the Nigerian cricketers that include Prosper Useni, Ridwanulahi Mohammed, Victor Ipoli, Destiny Chilemanya, Nzube Nwokike, Ridwan Kareem, Lukman Kofoworola, and Joshua Sunday.

Others are Talabi Odunayo, Paul Pam, Huzaifa Abdulsalam, Theophilus Jeremiah, Isaac Onyemgba, Udekwe Chiemelie and Elochukwu Ndubudem.

Winners of the qualifying series will take up the African spot at the 2022 under-19 Cricket World Cup scheduled for West Indies. South Africa and Zimbabwe already booked spots at the event along with thirteen other teams.

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