The Second edition of the South East Junior Cricket championship has kicked off in Enugu with five participating states from the zone.
Charles Obasi, Regional Development Officer, South East of the Nigerian Cricket Federation (NCF) told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Saturday that the championship was at its second edition.
“The championship is named ‘Omezue Okoro-Ezikoro Cup’ after the father of the sponsor and member representing the South East in the board of the NCF.
“The competition aims at discovering, harnessing and exposing young cricketers in the junior category to graduate and compete favourably at the senior level.
“It was hosted by the Government Secondary School, Afikpo in 2018 and won by Imo,” he said.
He listed the five participating teams in the championship to include: Government Secondary School, Owerri, Imo, Bishop Crowther Seminary Awka (Anambra) and the Government secondary school Afikpo (Ebonyi).
“Enugu as the host has two teams- Union secondary schools (host school) and St.Patricks Secondary School, Emene,” he said.
Obasi noted that the NCF was not involved in the selection of the teams by the states as it only wrote to them to provide their best team.
“It is true that we know the schools that perform creditably in the sport but the states know the criteria used in selecting their teams,” he said.
Chike Mbamalu, NCF South East Zonal Coach said that the championship was meeting its target of harnessing the talents in the young cricketers and positioning them for stardom.
“The technical level of play presently is high as the young players are springing surprises with commendable performances.
“We have noticed some flaws in their play as beginners but we will correct such to give them the opportunity of playing for the national teams.
“We will make them play to instructions and watch the more established players play while organising refresher trainings for the coaches,” he said.
Jephtar Ugwu, Coach of the Ebonyi team said that his team allowed the trophy slip on home soil in 2018 but will ensure it returns to the state as champions.
NAN reports that in some of the matches played on Saturday, Government Secondary School, Afikpo defeated Union Secondary School, Enugu while Bishop Crowther Seminary in Awka defeated St. Patricks Secondary School, Emene. (NAN)