By Andrew Abah, Abuja
Maria Whophil, a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has formally unveiled Asanka Gurusinha as the Head Coach and High Performance Manager of Cricket for Nigeria at the Media Center of the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
Gurusinha who was picked ahead of 32 top coaches, who applied for the Nigeria’s top job, has admitted that the interview session was the most thorough and rigorous since his coaching career.
“I am very excited to be in Nigeria and I look forward to do the best we can achieve with the level of enthusiasm, talent and support that the Nigerian Cricket Federation has.”
Whophil, who represented Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, said the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is full of commendations for the board of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, sighting their vision and dedication to duty since they were sworn in.
“Since a little over three years that this board came into office, we have seen their passion and vision to grow the game, especially their interest in grassroots development. This tallies with the direction of the Ministry and we have been giving the support they need.
“The unveiling of Asanka Gurusinha today was a tedious process, and we are glad that it came through. I want to implore all stakeholders especially sponsors, partners and supporters of the game of Cricket to rally behind the board and Asanka to make sure we make a success of this process.” She said.
Professor Yahaya Ukwenya, President of the Federation said the hiring of Gurusinha was very deliberate and is a key agenda of their five strategic imperatives.
“We have been promoting the game at all levels, upgrading Infrastructures, engaging strategic partnership, improving the quality of players and officials and maintaining appropriate governance and finance structures as our key goals for this administration.
“The hiring of the Head Coach is paramount to achieving at least two of those. We have five facilities that we are also upgrading side-by-side to international standard including the one that would be used for the National Sports Festival in Benin” he said.
Ukwenya said all the achievements both off and on the field of play are expected to rise on the heels of the expertise and professionalism that the new Head Coach Gurusinha would bring to Nigerian Cricket.
Asanka Gurusinha’s appointment as Nigeria’s Head Coach and High Performance Manager trended among the global Cricket Community because of the rising pedigree of Nigeria in the game and Asanka’s high profile as a top developmental coach in the game.
His immediate assignment however is a close camping for the top 36 players in the country who are already in Abuja.