World Cricket League May 20, 2009

Chilly Guernsey weather troubles Nigeria

Adewale Adeoye , Nigeria captain

Adewale Adeoye, Nigeria captain

Cricket in Nigeria has a limited profile and we certainly don’t have the popularity of some of the major sports in the country such as football, basketball and athletics.

We do have a 15-minute highlights programme on our domestic league each week during the season, but that is not much in comparison to some of the other sports.

I started playing the game when I was 13 – I had never even seen it played before, but I really enjoyed it, and I am very proud to be the Nigeria captain.

We are all excited about being part of the World Cricket League and we are determined to progress as far as we can in the competition, so it was great that we managed to win our first match against Japan.

It was very disappointing that we had a delay with our visas, which has really affected our preparations for the tournament. We had planned to have a two-week tour of the UK, before coming to Guernsey, but in the end we only ended up arriving on the island the day before the tournament started.

It has been particularly difficult to acclimatise to the weather and get used to the pitches. The conditions in Nigeria were tropical, so the temperature in Guernsey has felt freezing to us. Quite a few of the team have caught colds and suffered from muscle pulls, so the real challenge is trying to keep yourself warm in the field at all times by running on the spot.

In Tuesday’s game against Suriname we dropped nine catches and I think it was mainly because of the bad weather. It feels like a completely different ball when you are trying to catch it here in comparison to back at home.

Our focus is now on trying to win our remaining three group games and finishing in the top two at the tournament so we can win promotion to Division 6 in Singapore.

Whatever happens, I think the future for cricket in Nigeria is bright. We have some good administrative structures in place, there are plenty of people who are passionate about the game and I am confident that we can climb the cricketing ladder.