The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), is on the global tabloids again, and rightfully so, for her immeasurable contribution to the growth, development and advancement of the sport in Nigeria.
For three years consecutively, the International Cricket Council (ICC), has recognised and rewarded the commitment of the federation through its various initiatives which have become a hallmark.
In 2019, Nigeria won the award for the best ‘Grassroots Initiative’ of the year, through the Naija Kids Cricket and the South-South summer slam programme.
Subsequently, Nigeria also won the best ‘Female Initiative’ award of the year, through the Girls Aspire Initiative programme, during the Covid-19 lockdown period in 2020.
Against the backdrop of this, the Nigeria Cricket Federation, once again, has caught the eyes of the World Governing Body, by winning the “ICC Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year for Africa” through the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), Special Intervention Programme.
In a press release published on the ICC website, a total of 24 members have been recognised across six categories in the ICC Development Awards, 29 regional winners have now been put forward as the nominees for the global awards
The statement reads in part: “In Africa, this Award (ICC Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year) was won by Nigeria, who have been using cricket programmes as a tool for engaging and assisting in the development of internally displaced refugees as a result of violence within the country.
“Over 2,000 children are involved in the programme, which deploys coaches to teach cricket skills, as well as providing humanitarian aid to the significant number of people impacted by these issues.
“Thanks to the introduction of cricket into these areas, there is hope of establishing representative teams in structured competitions, creating a pathway through to one day playing for the national team,” the statement added.
Nigeria won the grand award in Africa among entries from other countries nominated in the continent. This IDP special intervention Programme in Edo State under ”Pets Foundation” is a genuine programme that fits perfectly into Social Impact Initiative (SII), as required by the ICC and the award is a true reflection and validation of the impact of cricket in the lives of the IDP’s in Edo State and by extension, Nigeria.