Tournament coordinator for the maiden Jide Bademosi U-19 cricket tournament, Okon Ukpong, foresees a tough contest among the four teams that will be taking part in the tourney meant for teams in the southwest region. The tournament commences tomorrow at the Liberty Stadium Ibadan.
Organisers said only four states; Lagos, Ogun, Osun and host Oyo will be represented in this year’s edition, which is an initiative of Energy and Mineral Resources(EMR) who are also the sponsors.
Team Osun have already arrived Ibadan and are training hard to ensure they get acclimatised to both the playing conditions and the facility on offer.“They have been in Ibadan for two days now,” Ukpong said yesterday in Lagos, pointing out that Osun’s early arrival could give them an advantage over other teams from outside Ibadan.
“It is not going to be business as usual for the teams because the level of seriousness among them is high and I predict a very keen competition ahead,” he added.
The Lagos U-19 team is currently undergoing training at the Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval in preparation for the tournament. Team co-ordinator and First Vice Chairman of the Lagos State Cricket Association, Barnaby Ephraim, disclosed that Team Lagos was targeting history.
“We want to be the first winners of this tournament and the trophy. We will do our best to ensure we come back victorious,” he stressed.Chairman of EMR, Seye Fadahunsi, said they decided to sponsor the four-day event as part of their corporate social responsibility. “We want to provide a platform where budding cricketers will meet, socialise and foster relationship among themselves.
“It is also our modest way of honouring a man who was one of the greatest cricketers of his days. He was a giant in the southwest and we could not think of any better way to honour him than through the game he still loves most,” Fadahunsi said.
The Jide Bademosi U-19 Cricket Tournament will be a 40-over competition that will be played in a round-robin format. The first and second place finishers will contest for the top prize in the final billed for April 23 in Ibadan.