By Ijeoma Okigbo
Nigeria’s female cricket team is optimistic of a good outing at the Kwibuka T20 tournament in Rwanda, coach Onome Oghenekevwe says.
Oghenekevwe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the team was in high spirits ahead of the six-nation tournament.
NAN reports that Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria and hosts Rwanda have been grouped into two for the tournament which begins on Sunday.
“We are all in very high spirits. The players are ready and we are also trying to harmonise and analyse all information we have gotten about our opponents.
“This tournament is a form of preparation ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in September.
“At the end of this event, we would have gathered lots of experience and exposure as well as notice our weaknesses and strengths and prepare better for the qualifiers.
“So, it is a challenging test for us, considering the countries we facing, but we are not going to rest on our oars. We hope for a good outing,’’ the coach said.
Nigeria are in Group B and up against Kenya and Namibia, who are ranked 22nd and 23rd according to the ICC rankings released in April.
“We are going to take it one game at a time. The other teams are ahead of Nigeria who are 41st on the world table.
“We respect them but we are not afraid of any challenge. The players have been preparing long before now.
“Some of them participated in the South South Women League, the PwC Under-17 national tournament as well as the National Sports Festival, all in the last few months.
“So, we are prepared and we believe that the competition will be a good test for us,’’ Oghenekevwe added.
On her part, Agatha Obulor, vice-captain of the team, said the team were happy to be back and competing since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are happy to be back together and we are in very high spirits ahead of the competition.
“Our training has been intense and we hope we perform better in Rwanda,’’ Obulor said.
NAN reports that the team are expected to depart the country on Thursday for the event which begins on Sunday and will end on June 12. (NAN)