Abuja, June 11: The Nigerian Cricket Federation reportedly disabanded the country's men's cricket team besides sacking its coach after it failed in the ICC World Cricket League Division Five tournament held in May.
The Africans finished last among six teams that played the tournament with a solitary win. Led by Kunle Adegbola, the Nigerians had a good start in the tournament by defeating Tanzania by 6 wickets but then they lost to Oman, Guernsey, Vanuatu and Jersey. Nigeria then went on to lose the fifth-place decider match against the only opponents they beat in the tournament---Tanzania.
Hosts Jersey, a Crown Dependency of the UK became the eventual champions after they defeated Oman by 44 runs in the final.
Emeka Onyeama, president of the Nigerian cricket body, announced the decision while addressing a press conference here. He also said that the team went through three phases of camping over two months and 40 players were assessed in this period and the best 14 were chosen for the national team.
Federation upset as all efforts went down the drain
Onyeama's disappointment could be sensed when he said daily allowances of $50 for the pre-tournament phase and $100 for the tournament days were paid in full before the team left for the tournament. He said it was the first time that the national team was paid $100 per day for international tournaments as against the usual rate of $25 to $50 before the administration came in.
The episode had an India connection
The Nigerian cricket also had an Indian link. The federation hired services of a coach certified by the BCCI to assist the team's head coach. Onyeama said Shriram Ranganathan, a Level-A coach certified by the BCCI was hired to help Nigeria get promoted to Division Four but all efforts came cropper as the team finished at the bottom.
The federation chief said a rebuilding process will be undertaken whereby U-19 players with passion will don the national colours. A new coaching crew will also be put in place.
Nigeria's cricketing skills may be tested in the proposed North-West Africa tournament.