In its bid to raise the standard of cricket in Nigeria, the Lagos Cricket Association has started an Under-18 high performance development programme at the Tafawa Balewa Square oval in conjunction with VAAS Sports Academy and Courtville Business Solution.
The maiden edition of the programme involves 18 young cricketers, who are seen as the next generation of players for the country.
According to one of the instructors in the programme, Endurance Ofem, a former national team captain, Lagos State teams have been dominating all inter-state tournaments and the national team feeds from the stars developed in the state hence the need to increase the state’s talent bank.
He listed some of the stars developed by the state, who went to play for the country to include the Sagoe brothers, Kwesi and Koffi, George Wiltshire, Barnaby Ephraim Jide Bejide and Saheed Akolade, who currently plies his trade in Australia. Others are Ademola Onikoyi, Seye Olympio, Leke Oyede and Shola Anyia, who plays in the United Kingdom.
“This high performance programme is to raise the next generation of cricketers in Lagos State and Nigeria, which we will like other states in the country to take a cue from.” We want a situation where the state will continue to raise stars to represent the country and always be at the zenith of the game.
“Lagos State has produced Kwesi and Koffi Sagoe and others. They both played for the state, the country and they both administered the state’s cricket association.
“Kwesi was a former president of the Nigerian Cricket Federation (NCF) and currently the chairman of Africa Cricket Association, while Koffi is currently the chairman of the state’s cricket Association, which simply means that the state and VAAS Academy want to continue the trend.