- Opening Ceremony and commencement of 2020/2021 Edo Cricket League season
It was a New Dawn in the annals of Cricket Nigeria as Edo Cricket League 2020/ 2021 Season- the first ever to be played on a turf wicket was officially declared opened ceremoniously on Saturday 9th January, 2021 in a grand style.
Indeed, it was a beauty to behold as Oviawe Abraham Esq, who doubles as the Vice Chairman- Edo State Cricket Association and Chairman, Edo League Committee led other members of the Board/ Committee on behalf of Mr. Uyi Akpata, Vice President- Nigeria Cricket Federation/ Chairman, Edo State Cricket Association in a glamorous and colourful atmosphere full of excitement, passion and high expectations to formally declare the 2020/ 2021 Cricket League Season Open.
The overwhelming presence cum influence of living legends of Cricket Nigeria- Mr. Uthe Ogbimi, former National Team Player/ current National Coach and Mr. Oboh Omoigui, former National Team Captain were highly motivating for the youngsters/ youth and future Champions.
Straightaway into the business of the day, the Eight (8) Clubs were unveiled with various Players wearing the brand New Jerseys for the season and the various Captains leading the way to the next level.
The Captains of the Clubs are;
1. Eghosa Aghedo, University of Benin Cricket Club.
2. Marvelous Oyivwi, Crusaders Cricket Club.
3. Osasu Agbonwanegbe, Integrity Force Cricket Club.
4. Nosa Agbonwanegbe, Invictus Cricket Club.
5. Christopher Okhide, Ambrose Alli University Cricket Club.
6. Destiny Chilemanya, U-17 Cricket Club.
7. Afani Abdulhamid, No-Limit Cricket Club.
8. Akhere Isesele, Dolphins Cricket Club.
It is on good records that Two (2) Matches were played today on a Turf Wicket- the first ever in Nigeria Cricket history on League basis.
The First (1st) Match was between Crusaders Cricket Club- the defender Champions and U-17 Cricket Club with Proper Useni of U-17CC winning the Man of the Match (Cash) Award with 4 wickets in 4 overs. While the Second (2nd) Match between University of Benin (UNIBEN) Cricket Club and Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Cricket Club with Peter Aho of UNIBEN CC winning the Man of the Match (Cash) Award with 4 wickets in 4 overs.
It is worthy to note that Day One (1) of the League, Elijah Olaleye- an Under 19 World Cup Star scored the First (1st) 50 runs. Also spotted are Isaac Onyemga with 44 runs not out and Selim Selau with 4 dismissals behind the stumps.
Highlights of the events were the distributions of Face Masks, group photographs, stomach infrastructure and Cash Award Presentations by Mr. Uthe Ogbimi to the deserving Players.
Covid 19 protocol was fully implemented with all Teams and fans wearing customize face masks and the provision of Two (2) Hand washing and sanitising machines. All Coaches, Team Managers and Captains were admonished of the need to lead their Teams/ Players by example in observing the covid 19 protocols.
The Playing Control Team (Umpires & Scorers) and Groundsmen did a fantastic job worth commending because without them the whole events would have been a mere jamboree.
- South-South Female League Opening Ceremony and Commissioning of Iyoba College Cricket Pitch and Changing rooms
Benin City was agog as Cricketers and fans across Edo State and South-South Region mobilized en mass to participate and witness the Formal Opening Ceremony of the First and Only Female League in West Africa/ the Commissioning of a new pitch at Iyoba College on Saturday 23rd January, 2021- a day we will never forget in the history of Nigeria Cricket.
Mr. Uyi Akpata, Vice President/ Zonal Representative, Nigeria Cricket Federation was ably represented by Abraham Oviawe Esq, Vice Chairman- Edo State Cricket Association in his opening remark said it is crystal clear to all Stakeholders that the main objective of the Female League is to promote the game at the grassroots and to raise the profile of our women/ girls cricketers by giving them the opportunity of playing more competition/ matches and thereby sharing their stories, acknowledging their hard work, dedication and by inspiring more and more girls to take up cricket.
No doubt, the league has come to stay with the Captains of the Eight (8) Clubs leading the front line and ready for actions.
Highpoint of the events were the commissioning of the new pitch at Iyoba College pioneered by Mr. Uyi Akpata, Vice President- Nigeria Cricket Federation/ Chairman, Edo State Cricket Association and the formal opening of the season with a selected side match.
Also worthy to note is the distribution of the Eight (8) Club Jerseys to the Captains. Below are the names of the Captains and Clubs;
1. Samantha Agazuma, Captain, Adolor Amazons Cricket Club, Benin City.
2. Etim Blessing, Captain, Smashers Cricket Club, Uyo.
3. Agatha Obulor, Captain, Idia Royals Cricket Club, Benin City.
4. Fate Fyneface, Captain, Pathfinders Cricket Club, Port Harcourt.
5. Omonye Asika, Captain, Ekpoma Supernova Cricket Club, Ekpoma.
6. Blessing Frank, Captain, Rangers Cricket Club, Uyo.
7. Victory Amoya Ebiere, Captain, Dazagon Cricket Club, Yenagoa.
8. Blessing Okpako, Captain, Delta Force Cricket Club, Asaba.
It is pertinent to note that the league is a round robin/ T20 format which comprises of Two (2) Groups of Four (4) Clubs each and will be played in Two (2) Zones of the Region;
Zone A: Edo State- Edo Boys High School and Iyoba College.
Zone B: Rivers State- University of Port Harcourt Cricket Pitch.
At the end of the league, Ekpoma Supernova as winners of the maiden edition of the South-South Female League 2020/2021 season. Smashers emerged first runner up and Adolor Amazons emerged second runner up.
- Edo State Cricket Association- Cricket Extravaganza and Outreach
The 2021/22 Edo State Cricket League has gone on two weeks Christmas break after last weekend encounters, leaving the defending Champions, Under-17 Cricket Club as league leaders after the fourth week of the new season.
The Christmas party saw the launching of the Edo State branded Cricket Criio equipment, it also saw kids introduced to the game with demonstration kits and a tour of the facility at the Edo Boys High School as a way to stir their interest towards the game. Gift packages of over 200 was distributed to children who honored the invitation, as well as fun fair, dance and lots more.
- Internally Displaced Persons Camp End of Year outreach
The Edo State Cricket Association paid an end of year visit to the home of the needy, the International Christian Centre which holds the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp in Uhogua, Benin-City on Tuesday 21st December, 2021.
The Camp which already has taken cricket as a major sport for recreational purpose had friendly cricket matches played between the International Christian Centre male and female team and the Edo State Under-15 male and female team.
Highlights of the day was the sharing of the International Christian Centre customized shirts to the cricketers in the camp, over 200 gift packs, packed food as well as food items for the workers and children in the camp.
Present at the event was Coach Cy- Coach, IDP Camp, Marvelous Oyiwvi- U15 boys Assistant Coach, Mr. Osawaru Odiase- Secretary, Edo State Cricket Association, Munikat Abu- Data Officer, Odion Isesele, Afani AbdulHamid and Alex Orjika.