By Ijeoma Okigbo
No fewer than 200 players are expected to participate in the Edo Cricket League, scheduled to begin on Saturday, the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) has said.
Theophilus Ibodeme, the Regional Development Officer (RDO), South-South of NCF, made the disclosure while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Abuja.
He said that the male competition, organised by the Edo Cricket Association, had eight teams which would feature in the event.
“Eight clubs will feature in the event, with two of them being from the University of Benin and Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
“The game’s format is a T20 Super League. This is a round robin situation. All teams will play against each other.
“The top four will qualify for Super 4 tournament, which is a one-day international and knock-out phase. This event will determine the winner of the competition,” Ibodeme said.
The NCF official said that the league was aimed at discovering talents as well as promoting and driving grassroots sports development.
“You cannot determine your level of development without competition.
“Secondly, it will give the state and NCF a score card at the International Cricket Council (ICC) level.
“The ICC are interested in leagues that have eight teams. If the league doesn’t have up to eight teams, it will not be ranked at international level.
“Before now, the league had four teams and wasn’t ranked, but now, with eight teams, according to the ICC, the league will be on the rankings log.
“This is a plus for the league and by extension, the NCF,” Ibodeme added.
The RDO, who said that the league was expected to last till April, added that all the necessary COVID-19 protocols would be adhered to at the competition.
NAN reports that Edo Boys High School and Iyoba College Ugbowo, both in Benin, have been picked as the venues for the event. (NAN)