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UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA CRICKET CLUB EMERGES CHAMPIONS OF THE 2ND EDITION OF THE SOUTH EAST CLUB CRICKET CHAMPIONSHIP FOR BAR CHUMA ANOSIKE CUP | (2012-04-04 )
University of Nigeria Cricket Club emerges champions of the 2nd edition of the South East Club Cricket Championship for Bar Chuma Anosike cup
University of Nigeria Cricket Club, Enugu State on Sunday at the University’s Cricket oval emerged champions of the 2nd edition of the South East Club Cricket Championship for Bar Chuma Anosike cup by defeating their greatest rival in the tournament, Anambra 1st XI by 6 wickets.
The University side that lost to the Anambra squad in their opening match of the Round Robin game changed their strategy to that of the T20 and started hitting from the first ball of the 20 overs, making 168 Runs for 4 wickets as against Anambra that ended their match losing 10 wickets in 14.3 overs. One of the strong hits of the University side was Collins Chinweze who made 57 runs.
Four Clubs from the South East, University of Nigeria Cricket Club of Enugu state, Owerri Cricket Club of Imo State, Anambra 1st X1 Cricket and Unity Cricket Clubs of Anambra state who played in the championship produced new and quality players to show that the game is improving tremendously. Each of the four participating clubs gave good account of themselves as the greatest surprise was Owerri Cricket Club of Imo State that placed 4th in the table bounding back to win the 3rd place match against Unity Cricket Club of Awka, Anambra State.
The winners of Awards in the Championship included Ifechelobi Echezona, Bowler of the Series Award with 11 Wickets and Joseph Agada, Fielder of the Series with 4 catches all from the University team. The Batsman and Wicket Keeper of the Series awards went to Kene Nwosu of the Anambra 1st XI.
Apart from the discovery of new and young talented players that participated in the Championship, the strategy of exposing the young players to have encounter with the veterans in the game helped in imparting good attitude and culture of the game to the young ones. During the median edition in Owerri in 2011 players like Rev. Dr. Jacob Onyechi (Teamber) one of the greatest cricketers to have played for Nigeria played for the University side while Emeka Igwilo and Ikem Asika played for Anambra team with Olisa Egwuatu striking for Imo team. In this year’s contest, another veteran, Ex-Captain of the National, Okon Ukong added another flavour to the sweet tastes of the batting styles by playing for the Imo team.
In his address at the Closing Ceremony, the Sponsor of the Tournament, Bar. Chuma Anosike stated that his dream of getting this game to those who never had the opportunity of playing it is coming to reality. While promising that he would continue to sponsor Cricket development in South East assured the teams that the joy of participating is the greatest gift as everybody is a winner. He urged all lovers of the game of Cricket to assist in any way they can to ensure that the game is played in all parts of the Federation.
The NCF President, Mr. Kwesi Sagoe who was represented by National Development Manager, Ewa Henshaw in his goodwill massage thanked the sponsor and the organisers for having focus in their vision of keeping the game on in the South East. According to the President, “the game of cricket which has been played in Nigeria since 1904 is indeed a lovely game that inculcates the values of discipline, integrity and fair-play in the minds of its teeming enthusiasts all over the world. It is these values that I will like you all to take away from this tournament”
While commending Barrister Chuma Anosike for the sponsorship of the comprtition, the NCF President stated that the objective to sponsor an annual championship which is rotated among the five states in the South-East zone is highly commendable. “I recall the successful hosting of the maiden edition held in Owerri, Imo State in 2011. Certainly the introduction of the championship in the zone will spur youngsters in embracing this lovely game” He stated.
The Commissioner of Sports of Enugu State who witnessed the finals in his speech stated that what he saw at UNN in the finals has rekindled his interest in the game and that he will do anything possible to ensure the game is not only revived in Nsukka but in the whole State. The Anambra State Director, Sports Operations, Ministry of Sports, Mr. Chidiogo also assured that the State will continue in the good work of making the game grow beyond the current status.
Chairman of the Technical Committee of NCF, Mr. Okon Ukong in his speech said the opportunity has provided opportunity of accessing players and the championship while advocating that competitions and friendly games among teams.
Mr. Olisa Egwuatu, the coordinator of the Championship thanked the sponsor, The University committee especially Dr. Jacob Onyechi (Teamber) and all the dignitaries for their support and urged them to always ensure the game is spread more to the crannies.
According to the NCF, Regional Development Officer for South East, Emeka Igwilo, the South East Club Cricket Championship is growing to quality and this has afforded opportunity to the National Development Officer and the Technical leader of NCF, the chance of accessing the gifted players that can make the National teams, both at the senior level and other categories.
The 2013 edition of the Championship is expected to be hosted by Anambra State as teams from Ebonyi and Abia States are expected to participate.