Nigeria men’s cricket team, the Yellow Greens have been handed a lifeline in their bid to secure qualification to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after they were handed a spot in the final qualification series for the World Cup following the suspension of Zimbabwe by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The ICC board had suspended and frozen funding for Zimbabwe Cricket in July after reaching a determination that Zimbabwe Cricket were in breach of section 2.4(c) and (d) of the ICC constitution following the country’s Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) decision to suspend the board of Zimbabwe Cricket.
The ICC said the actions of the SRC constituted government interference in Zimbabwe Cricket’s affairs and in addition to freezing funding and suspending Zimbabwe Cricket, the ICC in an unusual move also barred Zimbabwe from participating in any ICC events while under suspension.
That decision has now reaped dividends for the Yellow Greens who finished third behind Kenya and Namibia in the Africa Men’s Qualifier final and will join both teams as Africa’s representatives at the 14-nation Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier to be played in the UAE in October. Zimbabwe’s female national team have also been replaced by Namibia in the final qualification lap for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to be played in Australia next year.
The Yellow Greens will now compete in the Men’s Qualifiers against the UAE, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jersey, Kenya, Namibia, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Singapore and two teams from the Americas Final due to be held later this month. The top six sides will advance to the 2020 Men’s T20 World Cup to be held in October-November next year in Australia.
This development is another positive for Nigeria Cricket which have been growing in leaps and bounds in recent times. In March the national U-19 side, the Junior Yellow Greens, made history by qualifying Nigeria for its first-ever global cricket event when they beat Sierra Leone to qualify for the 2020 Under-19 World Cup which will be held in South Africa next January.