Head coach of Nigeria’s senior cricket team, Asanka Gurusinha has hinted that the just-concluded National Men’s Cricket Championship in Benin will influence the selection process of the national team for the Africa Cricket Association Cup taking place in South Africa in September this year.
The tournament was won by a youthful Edo State team that defeated Kaduna state’s team by 57 runs in the finals, and most of the players from both finalists are likely in the books of the national coach who followed the event with keen interest.
Although the coach had worked with the standing national team since he picked the job in December 2020, it is believed that the majority of the players he would be calling up for four-month camping would be from the championship.
At the championship in Benin, Gurusinha worked with the Nigeria Cricket Federation’s Selectors.
“I intend to have a forty-man team, where twenty would be the National Performance Squad while the other would be the National Developmental Squad. The Developmental Squad would be the feeder team for the Performance team.
“We have only four-month to work with before our first event ACA Cup in South Africa, so it’s a back-to-back work. This championship has exposed me to the huge task we have ahead, especially in batting,” he said.
The 1996 Cricket World Cup winner believes that with hard work, and dedication from the players, the national team would be a formidable side going to the ACA Championship.
The men’s national team will also feature in a T20 World Cup qualifier in November, an event that Nigeria will host. The U-19 male team and women’s national team will also be busy with cup qualifying events later in the year.