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The Nigeria national cricket team is the team that represents the country of Nigeria in international cricket. Cricket has been played in the country since the late 19th century, and the national team played their first match in 1904, when a team representing the Lagos Colony played the Gold Coast Colony.[1] The Nigeria Cricket Association has been an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 2002.[2]

Flag of Nigeria.svg
AssociationNigeria Cricket Federation
Twenty20 debutNigeria Nigeria v. North West
(Boland Park, South Africa; 14 September 2018)
International Cricket Council
ICC statusAssociate member (2002)
ICC regionAfrica
International cricket
First international Lagos Colony v. Gold Coast Gold Coast (British colony)
(Lagos, 25 May 1904)

In April 2018, the ICC decided to grant full Twenty20 International (T20I) status to all its members. Therefore, all Twenty20 matches played between Nigeria and other ICC members after 1 January 2019 will be a full T20I.[3] Nigeria's first T20I match is scheduled to play against Ghana on 19 May 2019, after finishing second in the North-Western sub-region qualification group, advancing to the Regional Final of the 2018–19 ICC World Twenty20 Africa Qualifier tournament.[4]



Early yearsEdit

Cricket has been played in Nigeria since the late 19th century when the game was introduced by the British. Contacts between the administration in Lagos and their counterparts in Gold Coast (now Ghana) led to an international in 1904, the Gold Coast winning by 22 runs.[1]

The match became an annual fixture and for the first three matches was multi-racial. The fourth fixture in December 1906 was for Europeans only, and the African population started their own annual fixture in 1907. Internationals stopped for the First World War, and did not restart until the mid-1920s.[1]

Between the two world wars, cricket began to become more formally organised in the country with two cricket associations for the Europeans and Africans being formed in 1932 and 1933 respectively. First-class cricketers from England began to appear in the annual matches against Gold Coast,[1] and the 1939 match, the last before World War II ended in a 58 run win for Gold Coast.[5]

Matches resumed after the war with a five-day match in Lagos in 1947 which ended in a draw.[6] The 1949 match went the way of the Gold Coast.[7] As the number of Europeans working in the country reduced, the quality of the African players increased and cricket began to be organised on multi-racial lines in 1956.[1]

Post independenceEdit

Following Nigeria's independence in 1960, there was much interest in cricket. Annual matches against Sierra Leone and The Gambia began in 1964, and were evenly contested until the late 1970s, when football began to become more popular in the country. Cricket began a process of decline, and when Tanzania toured in 1974, Nigeria lost two of the three matches and drew the other. They also lost heavily to the MCC in 1976. Internal problems with both the Nigeria Cricket Association and in Nigeria itself led to a decline in standards, though Nigeria formed a majority of the players on the West Africa cricket team[1] that became an ICC associate member in 1976.[8]

The West Africa team took part in the ICC Trophy tournaments of 1982 and 1997 before withdrawing from the 2001 tournament in Ontario.[9] Nigeria still continued to play on their own on occasion,[1] though they sometimes withdrew from tournaments, as at the 1998 Africa Cricket Association Championship.[10] The West African Cricket Conference ceased to exist in 2002,[1] and Nigeria became an associate member of the ICC in their own right the same year.[2]

ICC membershipEdit

Nigeria's first tournament after becoming an ICC member on their own was the 2002 Africa Cup in Zambia. Nigeria finished fourth in their group after their only win of the tournament against Malawi.[11] They finished 5th in the Africa Cricket Association Championships in 2004, their only win coming against last placed Tanzania, thus failing to qualify for the 2005 ICC Trophy.[12]

In August 2006, Nigeria took part in Division Two of the World Cricket League Africa Region in Tanzania,[13] finishing last.[14] This originally relegated them to Division Three,[1] though they are not playing in that tournament in 2008.[15] They won the North West Africa Championship in 2007[16] and 2008.[17] Nigeria are played in Division Two of the World Cricket League Africa Region in 2008 and came second hence qualifying for 2009 ICC World Cricket League Division Seven. They came 3rd in the tournament thus remaining in the division .[15] In May 2011 Nigeria participated in the 2011 ICC World Cricket League Division Seven in Botswana.[18] Nigeria came second in tournament this qualifying for 2011 ICC World Cricket League Division Six. Then the team went to South Africa in May 2011 to participate in 2011 ICC Africa Division two (T20) en route to qualification of 2012 ICC World Twenty20. They won the tournament and qualified for 2011 ICC Africa Division one[19]

In August 2018, they were included in the 2018 Africa T20 Cup tournament.[20][21]

Tournament historyEdit

World CupEdit

ICC TrophyEdit

ICC World Cricket League globalEdit

ICC World Cricket League Africa RegionEdit

  • 2006: 5th place (Division Two)[14]
  • 2011: 1st place (Division Two)(T20)[19]


Performances by Nigerian cricketers in World Cricket League since 2009

Current players
Name Matches Runs Wickets
Dotun Olatunji 18 599 0
Kunle Adegbola 34 588 33
Endurance Ofem 32 521 15
Ademola Onikoyi 34 502 1
Ricky Sharma 16 284 0
Segun Olayinka 29 584 0
Olajide Bejide 31 556 9
Joshua Ogunlola 29 124 44
Oluseye Olympio 27 154 29
Ositadinma Onwuzulike 18 127 10
Chimezie Onwuzulike 12 85 11
Saheed Akolade 31 98 48
Emmanuel Okwudili 20 351 0
Leke Oyede 10 84 5
Former players
Name Matches Runs Wickets
Sean Phillips 13 386 14
Wale Adeoye 6 51 5
Femi Oduyebo 3 19 5
Ramit Gill 13 203 8
Oluwaseun Odeku 7 55 3
Varun Behani 6 50 3
Haruna Thomas 2 3 1
Sesan Adedeji 3 29 1
Olalekan Awolowo 7 104 5
Joshua Ayannaike 1 6 0
Temitope Olayinka 4 12

Highest Scores+

Dotun Olatunji – 127 vs Ghana at BCA Oval No. 1, Gaborone on 7 April 2013

Dotun Olatunji – 125* vs Botswana at BCA Oval No. 2, Gaborone on 9 April 2013

Olajide Bejide – 106 vs Tanzania at Royal Selangor Club, Kuala Lumpur on 13 March 2014

Segun Olayinka – 94* vs Argentina at Grainville, St Saviour on 28 July 2013

Endurance Ofem – 90 vs Cayman Islands at Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur on 9 March 2014

Best bowling figures

Oluseye Olympio – 6/23 vs Argentina at Grainville, St Saviour on 28 July 2013

Saeed Akolade – 6/27 vs Bahrain at Farmers CC, St Martin on 25 July 2013

Joshua Ogunlola – 5/28 vs Botswana at BCA Oval No. 2, Gaborone on 9 April 2013

Joshua Ogunlola – 5/34 vs Germany at BCA Oval No. 2, Gaborone on 12 April 2013

Olajide Bejide – 4/20 vs Kuwait at BCA Oval No. 1, Gaborone on 8 May 2011

  • Highest team total: 397/7 declared v Gold Coast, 1932.[1]
  • Highest individual score: 166 by E Henshaw v Ghana, 1982 and by B Olufawo v Ghana, 2001.[1]
  • Best bowling: 7/65 by WS King v Gold Coast, 1952.[1]

Current squadEdit

The following list contains the 13 players in Nigeria's squad for the 2018 Africa T20 Cup.[22]


The following players have represented Nigeria internationally and also played first-class cricket:


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Encyclopedia of World Cricket by Roy Morgan, Sportsbooks Publishing, 2007
  2. ^ a b c Nigeria at CricketArchive
  3. ^ "All T20 matches between ICC members to get international status". International Cricket Council. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Ghana and Nigeria advance to Africa finals". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  5. ^ Scorecard of Gold Coast v Nigeria, 22 March 1939 at Cricinfo
  6. ^ Scorecard of Nigeria v Gold Coast, 18 March 1947 at CricketArchive
  7. ^ Scorecard of Nigeria v Gold Coast, 6 April 1949
  8. ^ West Africa at CricketArchive
  9. ^ List of West Africa ICC Trophy matches at CricketArchive
  10. ^ Group list includes Nigeria, but final standings do not.
  11. ^ 2002 Africa Cup at CricketEurope
  12. ^ a b c Africa qualifying, 2005 ICC Trophy official website
  13. ^ WCL Africa Division Two at CricketArchive
  14. ^ a b WCL Africa Division Two Points Table at CricketArchive
  15. ^ a b 2008 Africa Division Three Championship at CricketEurope
  16. ^ 2007 North West Africa Championship at CricketEurope
  17. ^ North West Africa Championship at CricketEurope
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^ "CSA launches expanded Africa T20 Cup". Cricket365. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Ghana and Nigeria set to join Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South African domestic sides in expanded Africa T20 Cup". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Yellow Greens Departs the Shores of the Country for Africa T20 Cup in South South Africa". Nigeria Cricket. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  23. ^ Henry Savory at CricketArchive
  24. ^ Richard Parkhouse at CricketArchive
  25. ^ Geoffrey Anson at CricketArchive
  26. ^ Robert Melsome at CricketArchive
  27. ^ William Shirley at CricketArchive