Nigeria is almost building from scratch and yes it is working
Kaduna State Cricket Team Tour of Uganda (16-24 July)
Uganda Select v Kaduna Cricket Team (Kyambogo, Friday)
Nigeria has cultivated a working formula for success at regional cricket events. Uganda should learn from them.
The secret here is in creating a culture of engaging in cricket tours across the African continent.
Naturally, it must be Nigeria learning everything from an established ICC associate member in Uganda but since 2017, the Cricket Cranes have struggled to rediscover their former glory.
In the process, the struggles have technically put them out of that inspiring position.
Nigeria, on the other hand, is almost building from scratch and yes it is working. Now one of their strategies has been in making the best out of tours to different countries.
Because of these tours, they have already registered a breakthrough with their boys U19 national team - the Junior Yellow Greens - emerging unlikely winners of the U19 ICC Africa World Cup qualifier earlier. They will now represent the continent in next year’s World Cup in South Africa.
We remember that their tours including the one to Uganda before the qualifiers helped polish their game. In Uganda, the hosting team had easy pickings, proving to be too strong for the visitors.
Nonetheless, they went away with lots of positives from the tour and would later learn from their mistakes to unravel giants and emerge unlikely winners of the qualifier.
Knowing how important these visits are to national teams, clubs have since jumped on the bandwagon with Kaduna State cricket team already in Uganda for a weeklong series.
The hosts are using the occasion to test their U19s and U23s select sides in the two 50 over matches and two T20 matches.
Still, it is a silent opportunity for these players to advertise their game keeping an eye on the ICC Challenge Cup that’ll take place next month in Hong Kong.
As tours present more playing time and exposure for athletes, a rethink towards this approach perhaps will do much for the Cricket Cranes, a side desperately looking out for a renaissance.