The Tafawa Balewa (TBS) cricket oval in Lagos has undergone a major tune-up ahead of the 3rd Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) Women’s T20 Invitational Tournament billed to begin on March 25.
“The TBS oval has constantly been upgraded and maintained to keep it in the tournament-ready state that we now have it. So the tuning up is perfectly in order,” said Uyi Akpata, president of the cricket federation.
He said the event is aimed at strengthening the ties between Nigeria and other top cricketing nations across Africa.
“To manage the traffic we are envisaging during the tournament, we have had to also put all the complimentary facilities in proper shape,” he said.
“While we are hoping that our team will rise from the runner-up finish last year, our success would need to find definition outside of the activities on the pitch.
“As a federation, we are deliberate about developing a sustainable event planning model, innovating and re-inventing its value addition to corporate sponsors and partners in order to attract more partners.”
The ten-strip turf wicket grounds would be hosting all the games of the T20 invitational that would feature Cameroun, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.
In addition to hosting about 2,000 players, fans, and visitors including students from cricket-playing schools in Lagos will be in attendance.
Emeka Igwilo, general manager of the NCF, said the federation had mapped out training and development for its key staff to enable them to handle the growing responsibilities in line with the NCF’s vision.
“Nigeria is easily a major developmental hub for cricket with an ambitious 250,000 new entrants-per-year goal set by the current board. So, this particular event only complements our growth agenda,” Igwillo said.
Ahead of the tournament’s opening games on March 26, teams will start arriving on March 24, while the next day is set as the practice session for all the teams.