Ibadancityannouncer: What can you say about the game of cricket and its development in Oyo state?
COACH IDAKWO: The game of cricket in Nigeria is fast growing and also with fast pace in Oyo state. We have started a developmental programme called “Dream Reality” which started 3 years ago. We can boast of about 800 kids playing the game in Oyo state. “MAKING DREAM A REALITY” is to catch them young and take them off the street. Most of our youths are wandering the street. Cricket is a game that I will advise youths to participate in. we give them scholarship, buy them books, bags, sandals etc. We are doing everything within our means to entice them because they will gain a lot. The game will keep them busy instead and fine tune their future so to that they will useful to the society.
Ibadancityannouncer: As the Oyo state Cricket Coach, what are you doing in a Federal Stadium, Obafemi Awolowo Stadium?
COACH IDAKWO: Cricket game needs a very large space to play the game and we don’t have that in the state stadium. The state has not provided large ground for us but the cricket chairman Mr. Okon Ukpong is also the zonal co-coordinator of south west. That is why we are making use of Liberty Stadium as our training ground. International Cricket Council (ICC) in conjunction with Nigeria cricket federation, organized this mass participation of cricketers, this is in continuation of the strategies to enable us grow the talents for the development of cricket game.
Ibadancityannouncer: As the Oyo State Cricket Coach, what does your job entail?
COACH IDAKWO: I have to bring up the players, to train young kids, nurture them from low level to high level, and prepare them for the future. I have to promote cricket game in Oyo state and I am doing that with the whole of me.
Ibadancityannouncer: Is the Oyo state government financing this programme and how is the government helping the game of cricket?
COACH IDAKWO: The government is not financing us in terms of facilities or equipment’s but they are giving us financial support. They have been giving our players allowances and helping them in terms of scholarship.
Ibadancityannouncer: Cricket is not that popular in Nigeria like football. What do you think the government can do to help the game of cricket?
COACH IDAKWO: To me, it is popular because presently we have a new board not like the former board. Our president MR. EMEKA ONYENMA and our technical director, MR. OLISA EGUALU came together and they have a partnership with AFRICA INDEPENDENT TELEVISION (AIT), as I am talking now there are games going on all over Nigeria. We just finished our National Championship Male and Female. The cricket game is very popular but initially, the media was not working hand in hand with us but we have closed that gap now because we are working with AIT to make the game more popular.