South-South Female Cricket League Super Four teams and stars  

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Two weeks ago, four teams out of eight title contenders emerged for the South-South Female Cricket League Super Four finals in Edo State. The four female cricket clubs all boast unique qualities that make them stand out as the 3rd season enters the twilight zone.

Thanks to the organizers of the league, which aimed at driving massive female participation early as the cricket game wildfire spread across Nigeria. The four teams are Idia Royals, Smashers, Adolo Amazons, and Pathfinders Cricket Club, (CC).

PET Foundation executives thought it wise to give the girls a platform to showcase their cricket skills as the boys would. But the league has unveiled rivalry- a healthy rivalry that attracts cricket pilgrimage to the South-South of Nigeria. It is indeed the first of such a league in Western Africa. Beginning from this Friday 9th February 2024, Iyoba College will again assume the status of Nigeria’s female cricket ‘Nest of Champions’.

From their history, mental toughness, batting discipline, fierce bowling, and aggressive fielding.  The four clubs promise to bring forth the colors of their cultural heritage and display them on the cricketing battlefield from Friday 9th to 11th February 2024 in ancient Benin City.

The Center of Excellence for Women’s Cricket, Iyoba – Benin will play host to the biggest and brightest female cricket action in West Africa. The SSFCL boasts of all the female Cricket superstars in Nigeria. From the last centurion, Esther Sandy, to Favor, shola Lilian, Udeh, and Blessing Etim. Others include Salome Sunday, Kafayat, and many more.

Smashers CC of Uyo, the defending champions still smash opposition teams with a secret power that Blessing Etim is yet to reveal. According to Nigeria’s female cricket captain and the brain behind ‘smashing’ Smashers CC, “Smasher is a name that conveys a highly charged personality that attracts powerful ideas. 

The inspiration behind Smasher is the strength of the game, especially playing T20.”

The array of stars in Smashers keeps glowing, with Esther Sandy more confident in the opening, her recent 100 runs in a match spell a big fear for the opposition – steer clear from the SSFCL Trophy!

Smashers’ focus at formation in 2021 was the development of young female cricket stars, like Nsisong Ifreke. In the 1s season of the SSFCL, they went up to the finals and narrowly lost to Adolo Amazons. At the moment, most cricket watchers predict a finals between Smashers and Benin-based Idia Royals.

India Royals CC is the epitome of the Benin Kingdom heroin, Queen Idia. Idia was a queen reputable as a female warrior who went into battle and defeated other kingdoms with kings as leaders. According to Coach Joseph, a school in Benin is also named after her. Favour Eseigbe, Lucky Peity, Shola Adekunle, Rachael, and others are some of their big guns who also play for the country. With this set of players and ancestors, Idia Royals plans for “nothing short of the trophy.”

Adolo is renowned as cricket hallowed grounds in Benin. History says it is where cricket was first played in Edo State, hence the girls of this community like their male counterparts must be respected, hence the formation of Adolo Amazons CC.

Adolo Amazons finished 3rd in the 1st season of SSFCL. They are determined to build U17 female cricket for Benin and Nigeria. The team boasts prominent players such as Abigail Igbobie, Gift Efosa, Ogechi George, and many more. Their boys will definitely be on the ground at Iyoba to cheer them to victories.

The last of the Super Four contenders are the Pathfinders. The Port Harcourt-based female cricket team from Rivers State. They finished 2nd in Port Harcourt playoffs behind Smashers after defeats to Rangers CC of Uyo and Dazagons CC of Bayelsa. The team banks the performances of female cricket stars like Divine Uranta, Rebecca Awaji, and Fate Fynface. The Pathfinders will definitely impact the game for those looking for great cricket stars and action from this weekend in Benin City, Edo.

*Written by Akanimo Kufre

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