LAGOS, Nigeria – Cricket, once the preserve of Nigeria's educated elite, is finding favor in schools for poor children and in the streets of some of the nation's most violence-torn cities.
Cricket has a long history in the country. British colonialists introduced the game to boarders in Nigeria's top secondary schools in the 19th century. Nigeria played its first recorded international game in 1904 against present-day Ghana.
The game fell out of favor after Nigeria gained its independence from Britain in 1960. Now, however, cricket federation officials have adapted the game on the cheap to fit Nigeria's realities. Fielders at his matches don't wear uniforms. Batsmen don't don helmets. They also use an $8-version of the professional bats that can cost between $250 and $400. Players also make do with tennis balls.