Nigeria Announces Final 14 Man List For ICC T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier In Rwanda
Howzat! The Nigeria Cricket Federation, NCF has announced the final 14 man list that will represent the country at the ICC T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier. The qualifier holds in Rwanda from November 15 to 21, 2021.
The list was announced on the backdrop of the just concluded T20i Bilateral series between Nigeria and Sierra Leone, where Nigeria emerged winners after defeating the neighbouring West Africa by 5 games to 1. The coaching crew had the opportunity of 6 matches to take a close look at all the players in camp to ensure that a formidable team capable of picking the single qualification ticket is selected.
Familiar faces returned to the squad creating a balance of youth and experienced; a chunk from the victorious team that qualified for the U-19 World Cup in 2020 have been retained with Sylvester Okpe, Peter Aho, Rasheed Abolarin and Samuel Mba all making the cut.
Two of Nigeria’s longest serving players, Segun Olayinka and Ademola Onikoyi have been recalled while consistent names like Isaac Okpe and Joshua Ayannaike are also listed.
A big career step for the young Ridwan Kareem who made his senior debut during the Nigeria/Sierra Leone Bilateral series will also feature with bowling prodigy, Prosper Useni completing the list.
Reacting to the list selected, Endurance Ofem, Player’s Representatives on the Federation Board, expressed satisfaction at the players that have been selected. ‘’For me, I am happy with the selection and hope the players will take the opportunity that have presented itself. The coaches have been working with a squad of 25 players. The bowling unit has proven their mettle and the most inform have been selected.
“We are looking forward to a situation where the batting will match up to expectations, it is going to be a big test for the experienced batsmen selected and I wish the team the very best and hope they come to the party as a unit,” Ofem said.
Joshua Ayannaike has voluntarily stepped down from his role as Captain due to other commitments surrounding his work and study, while Sylvester Okpe has been named as his replacement going into the qualifier in Rwanda. This signals a career high for him as he joins the elite few that have been honoured with that role and responsibility of being the Captain of the famous Yellow Greens.
The experience of Ademola Onikoyi, Segun Olayinka, Joshua Ayannaike, Isaac Okpe and the likes, will provide the necessary guidance for Sylvester as they bid to pick the only qualification ticket for the World Cup in a fortnight.
Sylvester Okpe – Captain
Chima Akachukwu Rasheed Abolarin