NCF picks former South Africa’s Ntini as technical consultant
The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) has signed on South African Cricket legend, Makhaya Ntini as the technical consultant to the national team ahead of the International Cricket Council (ICC) sub-regional T20 qualifier and African Cricket Association (ACA) tournament holding in Lagos this month.
NCF Vice President, Uyi Akpata, who is the Chairman, Local Organizing Committee of the T20 qualifier, yesterday said Ntini’s coming would give the NCF technical bench a depth necessary to compliment the efforts of the coaching crew ahead of busy schedules in the coming months.
“We have a number of things going well for Cricket now and the inclusion of Ntini to our technical team would be a big boost to those developments.
“A good outing at ICC sub-regional T20 qualifier that we are hosting from April 14 to 21 is also a key deliverable that his coming will help our team with,” he said.
Speaking on his appointment, Ntini, a former South African fast bowler, who also coached Zambia, says he is happy to work with the NCF to realise its vision.
“I want to appreciate the Nigerian Cricket Federation who invited me and based on what I have seen in the last few days, I am impressed with the talents I met on ground,” he added.
Mr. Ntini will also be expected to run a two-day Fast Bowling Academy for young fast bowling talents in Nigeria.
National team coach, Uthe Ogbimi, on his part is full of praises for the NCF for bringing in Makhaya Ntini, the first black player to play for the South African national cricket team.
According to Ogbimi, this will not only enhance the performance of the national team players but also help develop the game at the grassroots level.
“April is a very crucial month for us as host of the ICC sub-regional T20 qualifiers and ACA T20 Tournament. We have made a pledge to give our best and then come out tops at the two tournaments Nigeria will be hosting,” he added.
The NCF under the leadership of Professor Yahaya Adam Ukwenya had promised to return the national team to global reckoning when it was inaugurated a year ago.
“We had a roadmap when we came on board and we are keeping strictly to the developmental plans we have outlined. We are most grateful to the ICC and the ACA for granting us hosting rights for two international tournaments, back-to-back. With their support and that of our growing number of corporate sponsors, we are confident of a brighter future for Nigerian cricket,” Ukwenya added.
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