The national U-19 cricket team otherwise known as Yellow Greens will on Saturday engage in a warm up tournament in a mini-event called the Cubs Cricket ahead of their debut at the International Cricket Council (ICC) U-19 World Cup.
Though the Cub Cricket is a competition for junior teams’ franchises in SA, NationSport learnt the tournament would also incorporate Nigeria and Namibia national U-19 teams as they fine-tune their preparations for the global youth cricket tournament.
The Nigerian youngsters have been training at the Cricket South Africa High Performance Centre in Johannesburg since their departure on 8th December ahead of the 2020 U-19 World Cup slated to be held from January 17 to February 9.
Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) had promised to prepare the team well for the World Cup during the presentation of the 18-man squad and two officials before they enplaned to South Africa.
“The fact that the team is departing Lagos today (Sunday) for Johannesburg to embark on a 50-day preparation for the World Cup says everything about our ambition to excel there,” explained NCF vice-president Uyi Akpata.
NationSport also gathered from the team camp in South Africa that the Yellow Greens are expected to play their Pakistani and South African counterparts in official warm-up matches before the World Cup proper commences on 17th January.
The Nigeria’s hope bearers are drawn in a seemingly difficult Group B along with England, Australia and West Indies but Captain Sylvester Okpe sounded upbeat about the chances of the team:
“I believe we will make some impact at the World Cup and the World Cup will be the ground for us to show the result of the many changes that the team has gone through since the qualifier early last year.”