Nigeria Names Captain Sylvester Okpe to Lead Squad for Inaugural West Africa Trophy Cricket Tournament
In a thrilling announcement ahead of the inaugural West Africa Trophy cricket tournament, Nigeria’s seasoned coach, Steve Tikolo, has revealed his 13-man squad with Sylvester Okpe taking the helm as captain, MySportDab reports.
This highly anticipated competition is set to grace the iconic Tafawa Balewa Square Oval in Lagos, commencing on Wednesday, October 4, and culminating on October 15, 2023.
The West Africa Trophy tournament, launched by the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) last week, marks a significant stride in the nation’s cricketing journey.
Its primary objectives include building new partnerships with sponsors and fostering international interactions that are pivotal for the development of the national cricket team.
Joining Nigeria in this ten-day cricketing extravaganza are formidable opponents from the West African region: Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda.
The tournament promises an action-packed schedule, with two matches scheduled per day throughout its duration.
Coach Steve Tikolo’s selection for this momentous tournament is marked by experience, talent, and enthusiasm. Leading the Yellow Greens into battle is the capable Sylvester Okpe.
His leadership skills and cricketing prowess make him the ideal choice to guide the squad through the competition’s challenges.
Coach Tikolo has assembled a formidable squad to represent Nigeria on the West African cricketing stage. The roster includes:
1. Peter Aho
2. Ademola Onikoyi
3. Ridwan Abdulkareem
4. Prosper Useni
5. Daniel Ajekun
6. Sulaimon Runsewe
7. Taiwo Mohammed
8. Chiemelie Udekwe
9. Isaac Danladi
10. Isaac Okpe
11. Joshua Asia
12. Ahkere Isesele
Each player brings their unique skills and passion to the team, promising an exciting display of cricketing prowess.
The West Africa Trophy is not just about winning; it’s a crucial platform for the Yellow Greens to grow and flourish on the international stage. The tournament provides the much-needed exposure and experience that can elevate the team’s performance in future competitions.
NCF President Uyi Akpata expressed his excitement about this landmark event, stating, “This event is the first in its series, and we are glad to put it together, along with some partners, especially Dafabet.
Again, it will form part of events that will prep the National Men’s Cricket team ‘The Yellow-Greens’ ahead of other international engagements later in the year.
Nigeria faces stiff competition in the form of West African rivals Sierra Leone and Ghana, both renowned for their cricketing prowess. Additionally, Rwanda’s cricketing profile has been on the rise, making them a formidable adversary.
The West Africa Trophy offers a unique opportunity for Nigeria to test their mettle against these skilled opponents. The Nigerian team has also been bolstered recently with the promotion of former U19 players, adding depth and potential to the squad.
From the opening game on October 4, where Nigeria will clash with Rwanda, to the afternoon fixture featuring Ghana against Sierra Leone, the West Africa Trophy promises to captivate cricket enthusiasts and sports fans alike. With two matches per day, the tournament will provide a feast of cricketing action for spectators.
For the Yellow Greens, the West Africa Trophy is more than just a standalone tournament. It serves as a valuable warm-up event before the second round of the West Indies 2024 ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers, scheduled to take place in Namibia from November 20 to December 1.
As Nigeria sets its sights on cricketing glory, the West Africa Trophy is poised to be a pivotal chapter in the nation’s cricketing journey, promising riveting matches and thrilling moments on the pitch. Stay tuned for updates as we witness the rise of West African cricket on the international stage.
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