• Championship pathway to national team, says Akpata

Over 168 players from the six geopolitical zones have arrived in Abuja for the NCF/PwC National U-17 Champions, which begins at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Cricket Oval, today.

The championship is the Nigeria Cricket Federation’s (NCF) premier youth competition, which NCF President, Uyi Akpata, has described as a pathway for talents to feature at the national team.

Speaking at a media briefing ahead of the fourth edition of the championship, Akpata, who was represented by NCF’s Secreatry General, Taiwo Oriss, said the partnership between the federation and PwC has brought lots of development to the Nigerian cricket community.

“It is great for us having an organisation like PwC partnering with us for over four years. This tournament is a pathway for players to be selected at the national team level.

“We have seen lots of players, who have been impressive at the event feature for the country in the short existence of the championship.

“The competition also affords us opportunity of getting kids off the street and giving them hope through the game of cricket,” Akpata said.

Also speaking on the competition, a Partner at PwC, Tolu Adeleke, said the organisation is pleased with the initiative so far and reiterated support to the NCF.

“We are excited and pleased to be here again. We have been doing this for the past four years and even before this, we were actually part of cricket developments in Nigeria, focusing on young talents, especially when we started with “Naija Kids cricket competition” about five years ago.

“The values of the International Cricket Council (ICC) aligns with that of PwC. The values of integrity, working together, care etc and that is what the kids have exhibited in this competition over the years.

“We are proud of the crop of talents groomed so far and their achievements, and as long as we see this positive impact, we will continue to support this laudable initiative,” Adeleke said.

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