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Tri series: Nigeria’s cricket team on right track despite defeats, says coach

Tri series: Nigeria’s cricket team on right track despite defeats, says coach
September 14
17:11 2021

Ashanka Gurusinha, head coach of the Nigerian cricket team, says the series of defeats that the national male team suffered in the ongoing Pearl of Africa T20 series in Uganda was a good omen for the team.

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The Sri-Lankan former cricket World Cup winner gave his remark as the team rounded off preparation to engage Kenya and Uganda in the last two final matches of the ongoing tournament on Tuesday.

“The players are living up to our expectations and we believe the team is a work in progress. It is very wrong to judge them by their performance here and, more importantly, the two teams they are playing are way above Nigeria in cricket ranking,” Gurusinha said.

“The team has not played a high-level cricket game since 2019 at the T20 World Cup and this latest exposure would help the team to shake up the rustiness, especially after the squad was injected with a few fresh players.”

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The Nigerian team, the majority of which featured at the U-19 World Cup 2020 in South Africa, has not won any of the four matches played so far.

The Pearl of Africa T20 series, also known as ‘Tri series’, is one of the shape-up tours of the national men’s cricket team ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 African qualifier billed for November 2021 in Rwanda.

On his part, Joshua Ayannaike, the team captain, said: “The exposure we have had on this tour is eye-opening as we have a lot of take-home from here already. Even as the event is yet to be rounded off, we have seen visible impact on our performance. We have more to learn but more importantly, we look forward to our training regime and more matches ahead of the qualifiers in Kigali in November.”

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Of the three-team at the tournament, Kenya is the best ranked on the ICC T20 ranking at the 25th spot. Uganda is ranked 33rd while Nigeria is 36th on the log.

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