By: Abiodun Adewale.
Captain Sylvester Okpe and right-hand batter cum wicket keeper, Ademola Onikoyi, will lead Nigeria’s 13-man team for the maiden edition of the West Africa Trophy tournament which will hold at the Tafawa Balewa Square Oval, Lagos, from Wednesday October 4 to 15, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The Nigeria Cricket Federation announced the four-nation tournament last week as a way of cementing new partnerships with new sponsors and also creating platforms for the exposure of the national team to more international engagement which is key to their development.
Ghana, Sierra Leone and Rwanda, are the other teams that would join Nigeria in the ten days tournament.
Other players in coach Steve Tikolo’s squad for the tournament are; Peter Aho, Ridwan Abdulkareem, Prosper Useni, Daniel Ajekun, Sulaimon Runsewe, Taiwo Mohammed, Chiemelie Udekwe, Isaac Danladi, Isaac Okpe, Joshua Asia and Ahkere Isesele.
The West Africa Trophy will serve as a preparatory tournament for the Yellow Greens ahead of the second phase of the West Indies 2024 ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers in Namibia from November 20 to December 1.
“This event is the first in its series, and we are glad to put it together, along with some partners, especially Dafabet. Again, it will form part of events that will prep the National Men’s Cricket team “The Yellow-Greens” ahead of other international engagements later in the year,” NCF president Uyi Akpata said.
“Sierra Leone and Ghana are our rivals on the West African corridor, and Rwanda’s profile has been on the rise as well. So, it will be a great chance to test the might of the Nigerian team, which has also been beefed-up of late with the promotion of former U19 players,” the president added.
The West Africa Trophy will see two matches daily from the opening day till the final day.
The opening match will see Nigeria take on Rwanda on Wednesday October 4 in the morning while Ghana will take on Sierra Leone in the second game of the day.