Cricket’s golden girl Etim retires after Ghana heroics

15th March 2024

Captain of Nigeria senior women’s cricket team, Blessing Etim, has retired from the Female Yellow Greens after leading the team to a historic bronze medal at the ongoing 2023 African Games in Ghana, where the team defied the odds as the lowest-ranked side at the tournament, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

She played 63 T20i matches for the country.

Etim started playing cricket as a student in 2004 and earned her first Female Yellow Greens call up in 2011 while her first T20i game for Nigeria was in January 26, 2019 against Rwanda in Abuja.

Her last assignment for Nigeria was the five-wicket win over Uganda on Wednesday at the 13th African Games in Ghana, where cricket was also played for the first time in the Games’ history.

The 31-year-old announced her retirement after Nigeria stunned Uganda by five wickets to win the third-place match. She was given a guard of honour by her teammates and officials of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, including the president Uyi Akpata, after the game.

In December 2023, she reached a record 50 caps for the Female Yellow Greens against Namibia during the 2024 Women’s T20 World Cup qualifiers in Uganda. She has now added 13 appearances to take her caps to 63.

In her five-year spell playing T20i games for Nigeria, the team won the maiden Nigeria Cricket Federation Women’s T20i invitational tournament in 2019 before she led them to their second title in 2023.

Some of her individual T20i record include the best bowling analyses in an innings (conceding three runs and getting two wickets in 1.1 overs) against Gambia in 2022, best economy rate in an innings and most maidens in an innings (four in four overs), which she set against Cameroon in 2021.

Etim’s immediate focus will be on coaching in her home state, where she was posted to in 2014 by the NCF and has been doubling as a player and development officer.

The state currently has a target of discovering 30,000 talents after they were given new cricket practice nets, which were donated by PET Foundation at the playground of Community Secondary Commercial School, Ibiaku Itam last year.


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