By Ijeoma Okigbo
Nigeria’s Enesi Dahiru, an International Cricket Council (ICC) level one umpire, has called for more local top level cricket competitions, to improve officiating and deepen umpires’ experience.
Dahiru, who was recently invited by the ICC to officiate at the Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifiers in Rwanda, beginning from Wednesday, said inadequate knowledge was one of the challenges facing umpires in the country.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, that he was hopeful that once the issue was addressed, more Nigerians would be called up for International engagements.
“One of our challenges as umpires is insufficient top level games to officiate locally.
“We have few top level matches in Nigeria; the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) senior championship, the National Sports Festival (NSF), sometimes the Nigeria University Games Association (NUGA) events and also the Lagos cricket league.
“Also, inadequate umpire education and training has also affected the improvement of our umpires. Umpires, constantly need to be educated and kept abreast with the current laws and playing conditions of the game.
“So, there should be a deliberate and systematic design for umpire education. This is very key. We will have better umpires once we do that.
” We have good and promising umpires in Nigeria, but some of these challenges affect our development, so, we are hopeful that with more top competitions, our careers would be better developed”, Dahiru added.
The former technical director of NCF, who will be making his umpiring debut at the T20 World Cup qualifiers, also spoke on his expectations ahead of the tournament.
“I look forward to enjoying the officiating in a relaxed mood, without pressure and hope to keep my performance on the upward slope.
“I expect that by the end of the tournament, my performance will be commendable as I look forward to learning from other experienced colleagues and hope to get more call-ups from the ICC,” the cricket official said.
Dahiru, who said umpiring was a passion for him, looks forward to be invited to officiate in an ICC intercontinental event, and be part of the ICC Panel of International and elite umpires, in the nearest future.
He advised upcoming umpires to be educated on the game, know the rules and be hardworking. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)