Maiden Edition of The FCT Cricket Association Invitational T10 Ends With Team Kwara As Champions

By Publisher
12 Min Read
Kwara State Champions of the FCT Cricket T10 Invitational in a victory pose with H. E. Abhay Thakur, Regi George and Mr. Durotoye

…Engr. Onyeama promises mores Cricket Action in North Central Zone

…Indian High Commissioner pledges more collaboration with Cricket Nigeria

The first edition of the FCT Cricket Association T10 Invitational was held at the Package B Cricket Oval of the national Stadium in Abuja on 13th June, 2020. The teams that participated are Team FCT, Cricket Club Abuja (CCA), Team Plateau and Team Kwara. Also, in attendance were the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, H. E. Mr. Abhay Thakur, representative of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports and Director of Grass Roots Sports Development at the Ministry, Mr. Bode Durotoye, all the Directors of Sports in the 7 North Central States, Cricket fans and family members of Cricketers and the media.

Action in the game between Team FCT and Team Kwara.

The matches were played in the 10 overs format with Team CCA taking on Team Kwara in the first match of the day. Team Kwara won the first game. The second game was between Team FCT and Team Plateau. Team FCT won game 2. In the third-place match Team CCA won Team Plateau. Thuis Teams FCT and Team Kwara emerged as finalist for the Final Game of the Series. At the end of the game, Team Kwara won Team FCT to emerge the Champions of the Tournament.

In his remarks, His Excellency, Mr. Abhay Thakur, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, commended the enthusiasm with which the players participated in the tournament. He said with the spirit of the players, the good deeds of the supporters, the support of all the sponsors and involvement of so many countries from Asia to Europe, he was sure this wonderful phenomenon will only become stronger. He said he wished Cricket Nigeria all the very best and looks forward to a closer collaboration between all Cricket playing countries and that he was sure they will come soon when Nigeria participates in the Cricket World Cup. He said he was happy to stand by Cricket in Nigeria being the largest Cricket playing country in the world.

Action at the FCT Cricket T10 Invitational

Speaking to the press, the Indian High Commissioner said, North Central Zone being able to put together this One Day Invitational already shows that Cricket is happening at the State level which he said is a very good thing. He said in India they have the Ranji Trophy which is at the State level. He said Cricket is developing strong roots in Nigeria and that he wished Cricket Nigeria, the very best.

Dignitaries at the event in a group photograph

Answering a question from one of the journalists present about India being a great Cricketing country and what kind of help Nigeria should expect from India, the High Commissioner said, in whatever way under the umbrella of the International Cricket Council (ICC) where India plays a major role under the ICC to push Cricket around the world and they are ready to push this particular area of Cricket development across Nigeria, the largest and most populous country in Africa.

He said India is doing training assistance bilaterally with Nigeria and they are ready to do more particularly in the Common Wealth. He recalled that two Nigerians had received Cricket training in the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, Kamataka, India under its current Director and Indian Batsman, Mr. Rahul Dravid. He said more will be done both under Bilateral agreements and the Common Wealth Umbrella.

On what area he would like to see improvements from his observation of the day’s game, Mr. Abhay said certainly in the area of batting because he would like to see the bat’s men bat with straight bats and not with cross bats. He said that is very, very important. He observed that the bowling is very good and fielding is superb, noting that, these are two very important aspects of the game but the batting needs more focus on the straight bat.

Mr. Regi George, Vice President, Olam Nigeria Ltd and President of the Cricket Club Abuja, while reacting to a question by the press on support for Female Cricket Development, said he/Olam will support the female tournament coming up in October in Abuja. He said the organisers should keep in touch and he will see what they (Olam) can do. The private Female Cricket team just started recently and has the support of the Nigerian Cricket Federation who give them technical assistance.

In his remarks, Engr. Emeka Onyema, thanked all present for their time. In particular, he thanked the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, the representative of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Directors of Sports from the States that make up the North Central Zone and the Cricketers and fans present. He said he was using the opportunity to announce to all that Cricket is back to the FCT.

Responding to Journalists question as regards why we don’t have a preponderance of Nigerians in the teams that played the T10, Engr. Onyeama said because Abuja was the FCT and center of Nigeria where you will see a whole lot of Diplomatic Missions and foreigners all over the place, and like we all know, Cricket is predominantly played by these countries, so for now they make up the majority of our playing population. That notwithstanding, he said we equally have Nigerians who play the game but for the purpose of this particular event, we decided to field mostly foreigners. We still have lots of our own people playing Cricket in the North Central Zone, consisting of FCT, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Kwara and Kogi states. He said the FCT being a hub of Cricket in Nigeria boasts of lots of Nigerian and international cricketers.

Asked to react to what he would do if he gets the chance, given the upcoming Board elections of the NCF, and keeping in mind the achievements he recorded then, especially with carrying the media along during his days as President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation and to compare what was then, now, as well as looking into the future, Engr. Onyeama said, the difference was there to see. Using the T10 tournament as a reference, he said he has embarked on a journey again to re-establish and re-integrate the game of Cricket in Nigeria with the FCT in perspective.


Engr. Onyeama said he would use this opportunity to highlight what is to come. He said he was thinking of something bigger and better for Cricket in Nigeria and that is why he is looking forward to going back to the NCF Board.

At the end of the tournament, awards were given to players. These awards are, Man of the Match in the various games played and an overall Man of the Series was also awarded. Samuel Oguniran won Man of the Match in the game between CCA and Team Kwara. Man of the Match in the game between Team FCT and Team Plateau was won by Obafemi Talabi. 3rd Place Match between Team CCA and Team Plateau produced Amil Shazard as winner. For the final match, Man of Match between Team FCT and Team Kwara, Abolarin Rasheed emerged the winner. Player of the Series award was presented by Mr. Regi George and the winner was, Saeed Ibrahim.

Kwara State Champions of the FCT Cricket T10 Invitational in a victory pose with H. E. Abhay Thakur, Regi George and Mr. Obalola

Team Kwara won the FCT Cricket Invitational T10. The runners up for the Series was Team FCT whose award was presented by Alhaji Durotoye, Director of Grassroots Sports Development of the FCT.

Earlier while making his closing remarks, Engr. Emeka Onyeama, Chairman of the FCT Cricket Association, an affiliate of the Nigerian Cricket Federation, said with the success of the North Central Cricket Invitational, there was no doubt that Cricket has come to stay in the FCT. He said his association is very pleased to have all the Directors of Sports from the various North Central States of FCT, Nasarawa, Benue, Niger, Plateau, Kogi and Kwara. He said from time to time the Association will be getting together for the game and promised good times ahead.

From left, Engr. Emeka Onyeama – Chairman FCT Cricket Association, H. E. Abhay Thakur – Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Regi George – Vice President – Olam Nigeria Ltd and President – Cricket Club Abuja and Michael Egiethua – General Secretary – Cricket Club Abuja and Publisher Crossfire Reports.

He said he was so exited and thanked His Excellency, the Indian High Commission to Nigeria, Mr. Abhay Thakur for gracing the occasion and spending time to watch the matches. He also thanked Mr. Regi George, Vice President Olam, whom he described as being very supportive of Cricket development in the FCT.  He also thanked the Cricket Club Abuja, which he described as the foundation of Cricket in the FCT and its environs. He thanked all those who made out time to be present to watch the matches.–Cricket

At the end of the FCT Cricket Association Invitation T10 Series, Team Plateau emerged victorious having won all their matches in the One Day Series. Team FCT emerged second place while Cricket Club Abuja (CCA) came in the third place. Team Plateau was fourth position.

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