Following the giant strides made so far by the Professor Yahaya Adam Ukwenya-led board of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), the International Cricket Council (ICC) is planning to consider Nigeria in executing its pilot project.

The world body described Nigeria as one of the key nations in Africa that would help grow the sport.

ICC Development Manager in Africa, Patricia Kambarami told NationSport recently in Lagos from the 19 associates in Africa, Nigeria is one of the nations considered by ICC for its pilot project.

“There are 19 associates in Africa. Nigeria falls within our accelerated growth countries’ category just below Namibia, Kenya and Uganda.

Cricket in Nigeria is in good hands. There is a structured plan to grow the game and targeting previously untapped areas. There is also a focus on the success of national teams which will only serve the game well in terms of awareness.

She added: “The ICC has the ambition of making cricket the world’s fastest growing sport by 2023. A key component to our growth strategy is the development of a social cricket programme that significantly reduces barriers to entry and makes cricket more accessible to adults and children. We have identified Nigeria as one of the countries to pilot this project. Coming soon!

On the ICC-backed seminar organised in Lagos, Kambarami said: “The ICC believes that a key part of a strong professional national federation is their commercial success.

The past few days were spent on working with the federation on capacity building to support Nigeria Cricket Federation in identifying and increasing non-ICC income streaming. I must say that Nigeria is a bright and developing cricket nation that the whole world is looking forward to.”