President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, Uyi Akpata, has said that his sport is the best-run sport in the country.
He made this claim while pitching his cricket to the private sector at an event in Lagos tagged ‘Cricket meet Corporates’ on Victoria Island, Lagos.
“I’d like to say the Nigeria Cricket Federation structure is the best I have seen around, and it is modeled from my experience in the private sector,” the career accountant noted.
The meeting was meant for accountability to stakeholders, and to pitch the future of the game to new and potential sponsors. Uyi told the cricket stakeholders that the three international awards won by the federation and a recent visit by the International Cricket Council’s Development Manager, William Glenwright, to understudy Nigeria’s growth plan was no fluke.
“We have some of the most dedicated workforce in sports development and some of the states boast a whooping 25, 000 kids’ in-take into the game annually. We currently do 250, 000 and we have raised the stake to 500, 000 for the coming season”
The PwC National Under-17 Championship has been one of the key events that have driven the grassroots effort of late; as most of the field officers see the platform as a place to showcase their regional engagement efforts.
Akpata said: “In 2023, we had uLesson come on board our youth project, and many more corporates like Accessbank joined our Women’s T20i Invitational that had five countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Sierra Leone). Eko Disco, Intercontinental Hotel, Sparkle, and Alaro City have also seen value in our projects.”
“In 2024, we are raising the stakes, and as the ICC has also beamed the searchlight on our activities, the 2.5 billion audience of Cricket is ours and our partners to leverage.”
Akpata added that the Nigeria Women’s team, presently ranked 30th in the world, and Men’s 38th standing on the World T20i table respectively adds to Nigeria’s enviable profile as the new year beckons.
“Our male team is presently in Zimbabwe, heading to Namibia next week to begin a historic chase for the 2024 World Cup ticket, and the ladies will do the same in a few weeks in December.”
He said the West Africa Under-15 Championship, The 2024 Women’s T20i Invitational in March, Men’s T20i Invitational, The Nigeria Super League, National championships, Secondary School Challenge Cup, and The Nigeria Universities Cricket League are some of the projects that the Federation will onboard next year.
“We are very focused and value-driven and will be looking forward to working with several brands on these,” he concluded with enthusiasm.