The north-west team on Sunday won the maiden event of at the National Under 17 Cricket Championship with eight points from five matches at a net run rate of 4.86.
The competition, held at the Cricket Oval of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, was sponsored by Price WaterHouse Coopers (PwC).
Captain of the winning team, Boniface Oche, who is also a member of the national under 19 team, led his mates to an easy run until the team got ditched by the South West team in their last match, losing by six wickets.
Yahaya Ukwenya, professor and president of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, said the event aimed at discovering and growing cricket talent across the country.
“We are very glad at the level of talent on display here and we are also appreciative of the support gotten from PwC. This perhaps is the deepest we have gone in exposing all the youth across the nation to competitive event. I believe the players’ discovery from the effort is nationalistic,” Ukwenya said.
The NCF boss said the event also presented a team from the north-east for the first time in over a decade since cricket activities had slowed down in the zone due to insurgency.
The Borno representatives, however, lost all their matches in the finals, but were applauded by spectators for endurng the odds to feature at the national event.
The south-south team finished second with seven points and a net run rate of 1.81 while south-west and south east finished with six points apiece.
Tolu Adeleke, a partner at PwC, said that the event aligned with values of the organization with the youthfulness and diversity on display at the week-long championship.
“Cricket has some strong values that it passes down and we are particularly glad that this competition got cricket enthusiasts in the north east to assemble a participating team,” Adeleke said.
More than 1,000 players participated in the championship which kicked off regionally, featuring the boys and girls. The girls team from south-south won the girls event that was concluded at the previous weekend.