Host, Edo State, emerged as the winners of the 2021 National Men’s Cricket Championship after defeating Kaduna by 57 runs at the Boys High School, Cricket High Performance Center in Benin City.
Kaduna State finished as the first runner-up while Lagos, the overwhelming pre-tournament favourites, finished in third place.
The eight-day championship had eight states competing for the top prize. The states were Lagos, Edo, Anambra, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Delta, and Oyo.
Peter Aho, a national U-19 player, led the Edo State team to victory, and he dedicated his team’s victory to team discipline and substantial support from the Edo State Cricket Association.
In the post-match interview, Aho said, “We give the glory to God and we thank all our mentors and the leadership of the Edo State Cricket Association that have sacrificed and encouraged the team to this height, we dedicate this victory to them.”
Lagos State had the consolation of having the best bowler of the series in Mustapha Yusuf. He bowled 16 wickets in four matches.
Edo’s Selim Salau was named the Fielder of the tournament while Kaduna’s Isaac Okpe got the Batsman award. Sylvester Okpe, captain of the Kaduna team, won the Most Valuable Player diadem at the Championship.
Yahaya Ukwenya, president of Nigeria Cricket Federation, restated the purpose of the tournament to be one where opportunity is given to talented players to showcase their skill in front of national team selectors.
“We set out to, among other things, use this event as a platform for the best players in the country to showcase their skills,” Ukwenya said. “The national coach, Asanka (Gurusinha) watched every match with a team of selectors, and soon our national camp will open for the assignments ahead with some new players invited based on their performance here.”