Asanka delighted with the abundance of cricketing talent in the country

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National Cricket and High Performance Manager Asanka Gurusinha described the pool of players currently available in the country as a guarantee for the future of the sport in Nigeria.

Gurusinha, who spoke at the final of the 3rd PwC U-17 National Cricket Championship in Abuja, said the past three years had been fulfilling for the talent discovery mission of the Nigerian Cricket Federation (NCF) .

“I want to say that the talent discovery has been massive. Last year it was in Benin City and this year it was great in Abuja. We can only progress from here,” the former Sri Lanka national cricket player enthused.

“Nothing excites me more than seeing what children do in cricket and I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve witnessed here so far,” he said.

The national team coach, however, warned that he would not directly integrate the teenage players discovered during this championship into the senior team, as expected.

“Although two of the U-17 players scouted last year were drafted into the senior squad, you have to watch the current U-17 players evolve. They still need to hone their skills before taking on bigger challenges. They can always join the U-19 team to continue their growth,” revealed Gurusinha.

Meanwhile, NCF Vice President Oyewale Obalola said the federation was closer to its projection for the future given the development progress of the past four years.

“Never in the history of Nigerian cricket have so many children emerged from different parts of the country. At the start of our administration, we planned to use cricket to get children off the streets while helping them to to serve and ultimately to society. I have to say that the results we recorded on this score exceeded our expectations,” said Obalola.

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