Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Cricket - Nigeria Gains Promotion to ICC World League Division 5

The Nigerian National Cricket team has gained promotion to International Cricket Council (ICC) World League Division 5 after placing second at the just concluded Division 6 league.

The Nigerian team placed second on the log, behind host; Jersey after the end of the Division 6 league which took place between 21st and 28th of July 2013.

Nigeria won four out of five games, defeating Vanuatu, Kuwait, Bahrain and Argentina but was edged by Jersey.

The feat qualified the Nigerian side to participate in the Division 5 league which will be staged in Malaysia next February.

While speaking with Daily Trust on Wednesday in Abuja, the Manager of the team, Olisa Egwuatu commended the efforts of his team.

He noted that it was the first time Nigeria would be qualifying to play in the ICC World league Division 5.

Optimism

The captain of the team, Adegbola Adekunle Philips, expressed optimism that the team will survive the huddles in the Division 5 and gain promotion to the next division.

"Coming from division 8, I think we have done a very great job because we came from afar, from the regional level and now we have taken cricket to a stage whereby I think if we can improve our skills and developmental programme in Nigeria. World Cricket League is where we can reach."

The team still needs to survive three divisions to qualify to play in the Intercontinental and World Cricket league where the likes of India, England and South Africa plays.

"We have to gain promotion from division 5 to 4 and from 4 to 3. Then, from 3 to 2. But I believe that by the end of next year, we should be in division 3."

Early preparation

Adegbola stressed the need for the team to start preparation in earnest for it to come out top at the Division 5 League next year.

"We should start preparation now. If we can do that, I think we are going to do well in Malaysia early next year.

"Playing in Division 5 will require more skills and I think the Federation, having sponsored a two week training in London before the Division 6 League, should repeat the same ahead of the Division 5 league in Malaysia next year.

He encouraged Nigerian youths to play cricket, stressing that apart from improving their physical fitness, the game also teaches some morals.

Supports

A board member of the Nigeria Cricket Federation who also doubles as the Federation's Media Committee Chairman, Kayode Adeniyi, said the board will continue to break new grounds in the game.

He pledged the Federation's continued supports to all its teams, promising that the national team will be given adequate preparation ahead of its participation in the Division 5 league next year.

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