Nigeria Win Global Cricket Award, Excites Nigeria Cricket Federation President

The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) was awarded for Best Female Cricket Initiative at the International Cricket Federation (ICC) Global Award on Friday June 16.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the global winners of the ICC Development Awards 2022, in which African nations secured the top prizes in six award categories.

Nigeria won this year’s award on the back of significant results obtained from delivering cricket programmes in Zamfara state, a region in the north-west of the country where a number of barriers exist preventing women from participating in sport.

Overcoming significant obstacles in the region such as religion, ethnicity, tribe and tradition, cricket programmes were introduced to provide social benefits to women living in Zamfara.

Despite initial resistance, these introductory sessions proved hugely successful, resulting in Nigeria Cricket Federation recording over 15,000 female participants in 2022.

These endeavours eventually led to a representative team competing in the National Under-17 Championships, thus transforming lives for the better in the region.

The president of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) Uyi Akpata expressed his excitement with the award.

“We were quite optimistic that we could meet our objective of introducing over 100,000 females to the game annually.

But we did not expect that the major contributor would be Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria, generally perceived to have cultural bias that limits the open interaction of females.

“A combination of factors came into play – an effective partnership with the state’s education authorities and having dedicated and extremely passionate resources on ground.

This success story has given us the impetus to double our expectations under the 9jakid’s programme, as we replicate the ‘winning’ formula to other States in Northern Nigeria”, Uyi Akpata said.

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