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Nigeria's exciting domestic calendar

The Nigerian season kicked off on November 1 with the traditional match between the winners of the National Club Championships, Ibejju Lekki, who clinched the title for the second year running, and a Nigeria Cricket Federation Select XI at the Tafewa Balewa Square in Lagos. The Lagos League will follow on November 7 where 14 clubs will play in limited-overs style coloured kits and white balls for the first time.

The Lagos League is in fact one of the four leagues in Nigeria. The Edo League, comprising four clubs, is in the south-south region of the country and is also expected to start sometime this month.

The North-West League and the Eastern Leagues are scheduled for early 2010 as they help in picking the regional qualifiers for the National Cricket Club Championships, normally played from April to June. The National Cricket Club Championships finals would also be played in coloured clothing and white balls.

Another important step in the development of the game in the country is the second National Secondary Schools Championships sponsored by DUFIL Prima. The tournament is expected to start in November-December with the finals slated for April. Sixty schools participated in the 2008-09 pioneer edition.

A turf wicket, the first in Nigeria, will also be constructed in Abeokuta, Ogun State with the help of a Cricket Kenya curator. It is expected the wicket would be in place by the end of 2009 latest.

At the regional level, there there is also a regional Under-18 boys tournament scheduled for April 2010 in Ghana and an Under-13 boys tournament in Gambia in December 2010. An allrounders' academy featuring the top two allrounders from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Cameroon and Mali is also in the offing.