Nigerian skipper Blessing Etim announces retirement from international cricket

Nigerian skipper Blessing Etim announces retirement from international cricket after leading them to a historic Bronze medal at the Women’s African Games.

Nigerian skipper Blessing Etim announces retirement from international cricket
Nigerian skipper Blessing Etim announces retirement from international cricket

The Nigerian Women’s team led by skipper Blessing Etim clinched a historic Bronze medal at the Women’s African Games by defeating Uganda by three wickets in the third-place play-off.

A total of eight teams namely, South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda participated in the tournament. The teams were divided into two groups, Group A and Group B. Nigeria was placed in Group A. They finished 2nd on the points table in Group A at the end of league stages with three points from three games. What made their Bronze medal triumph at the Women’s African Games in Ghana more significant was that they came into the tournament as the competition’s lowest-ranked side.

A couple of days after leading Nigeria to their historic Bronze medal triumph in the Women’s African Games by stunning Uganda by three wickets in the final on 13th March 2024, the Nigerian skipper Blessing Etim has announced her retirement from Internal cricket.

The Nigerian skipper Blessing Etim has played a crucial role in the rise of Women’s cricket in Nigeria. She was a part of the first-ever group of female cricketers in the country when she received her maiden call-up to the side in the year 2011. However, she made her international debut on 26th January 2019 in a T20I against Rwanda. She then went on to play 63 matches for Nigeria and scored 638 runs at a strike rate of 75.77 and an average of 13.86 in 57 innings.

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Her best performance with the bat for Nigeria came on 4th September 2019 when she scored an unbeaten half-century (50 off 48 balls) against Rwanda. She played her 50th Match for Nigeria on 10th December 2023 against Namibia in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Region Qualifier. Apart from her exploits with the bat, she has also picked up 25 wickets with the ball at a strike rate of 24.4 an average of 21.56, and an economy of 5.29 in 31 innings. Her best performance with the ball came on 13th September 2021 when she returned with exceptional match figures (4-4-0-4) with the ball against Cameroon in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Region Qualifier.

En route to her exceptional spell, she created multiple records such as recording the best bowling figures (4-4-0-4), having the best economy rate as she didn’t even conceded a single run in her spell, and bowling the most number of maidens (4) in an innings in the T20I format.

She led the Nigerian Women’s cricket team to a title in the 2023 edition of the Nigeria Cricket Federation Women’s T20I tournament by defeating Rwanda in the final by nine runs.

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