Uyi Akpata, the president of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, claimed that the country has already reaped the benefits of its commitment to women’s cricket over the previous five years.
At the Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval in Lagos, where Nigeria is holding a five-nation women’s T20i event, Akpata stated as much.
The third iteration of the tournament will include Rwanda as the defending champions along with Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, and Sierra Leone.
The tournament is yearly held by the NCF to celebrate International Women’s Day, and the president highlighted that Nigeria has profited much from the competition in its effort to grow the game of cricket in the nation.
“Female cricket is one place we have gained the most in the last five years. We have moved in ranking from number 38 to 28 and the platform for making that leap was holding this tournament last year. So the opportunity to play regularly with the best and also showcase the talents and what Nigeria has is very instrumental for us,” Akpata said.
“Beyond that, we are targeting 250,000 people to join cricket and half of them are women. So, when you talk about Africa and the whole world now, I’m not sure if there is any country that is producing new female cricketers other than Nigeria. And that is why we have received global attention to push this agenda.”
On Monday, the 2023 women’s T20i tournament got underway, and Nigeria won its opening match against Sierra Leone by a margin of six wickets.
Following the rest day on Thursday, the competition resumes on Friday (today), with Nigeria playing Ghana and Rwanda playing Cameroon.
The Female Yellow Greens and Rwanda are vying for a spot in Sunday’s championship game after each side has picked up two victories. The teams are divided by the net run rate on the table.