The newly-elected President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, Uyi Akpata, has set a target of recruiting 250, 000 youths nationally into the game, as one of the core pursuits of his team during his term as President.
In a statement made in Abuja, shortly after the inaugural meeting of the board, he said, his team is set to build on the existing structure of the former board (which he served as Vice-President), where 16 Regional Development Officers were recruited to lead training and development across the country.
According to him, “We have 16 field officers that we recruited across the country, during the last board, so what we would do is to quickly get 20 others, so that other states and the Federal Capital territory have those development officers as well. With that structure, each state and zones have targets in terms of number of players they should reach each year. This forms the bedrock of the 250, 000 (yearly recruitment), we are aiming at.”
He also said that the Federation would invest in high impact centers in each state where the Federation would encourage the schools to converge and have their students take a deeper dive and exposure to the game.
To demonstrate the urgency of the task, the board dispatched four training kits to Kebbi, Kwara, Plateau and Gombe states through the secretariat in Abuja on Friday October 1st.
The Nigeria Cricket Federation was recognized twice for its development effort by the game’s ruling body International Cricket Council, ICC, and the continental body, ICC-Africa, in recent years.