The Senior National Women’s Cricket team has promised to improve upon their previous performance at the Nigeria Cricket Federation’s Women’s T20 Invitational tournament to be held in Lagos, from Sunday, March 26, through to April 3, 2023.
Meanwhile, the ladies have been in residential camping at the Achimota Cricket Oval since Wednesday March 15 and have played couple of mixed matches together with the men’s national U-19 Team.
In the last edition held around same time last year, Ghana finished 4th, losing the 3rd place game to Sierra Leone, while Rwanda emerged champions after beating host, Nigeria in the finals.
Captain of the Team, Rhyda Akua Ofori Amanfo in an interview with TalksenseSports says first three places is assured all Ghanaians.
“We are really preparing towards this tournament. We want to go there and do a different thing altogether as compared to last year. Camp has been good, we don’t have any challenge for now, just focusing on the preparation with good energy, good vibe and positivity is there. The target this year is first three and we will assure Ghanaians and all those who will be watching us during the tournament. Not worried about any of the teams. We are just going to have fun.”
Head Coach is Obed Harvey and he says they target first two, while admitting camping has been great so far.
“We first of all want to thank all who made this possible, the GCA and few corporate bodies. The players are trying their best and enjoying the challenges that comes their way and the hurdles as well, to put ourselves in better position for the tournament ahead of us. With the matches we’ve played, growth is taking place from strength to strength and we are positive that we will be better. For the target, we want to be much better than what we did last year. Last year, we were 4th and will look for move in-between the first two. When we get to that spot, we will be really excited about it.”
So, the Head Coach has actually named his 14-man squad for the trip to Lagos on Saturday morning, March 25 out of the 16 players invited to camp.
Obviously led by Captain Rhyda Ofori and vice Rozabel Asumadu, we have Ellen Otu Asante, Rashidatu Salia, Cynthia Konadu, Jacqueline Kokam, Christiana Nyameke, Emmanuella Nyaaba and Beatrice Oduro. The rest are Miriam Eshun, Ivy Yeboah, Elizabeth Annor, Kate Awuah and debutant, Komalpreet Grewal.
Team Manager, Madam Angela Casandra Allotey, who doubles as the Treasurer of the Ghana Cricket Association and triples as the Women Cricket Ambassador says, they are going to make a statement.
“So far, so good. We started with 14 and assessed their fitness and since then, we have been doing more technical aspects of the game. We have joined the U-19 boys team to continue to give them much training as we can. Everything is going on well, despite some few injuries that can be dealt with in no time. Because it has been a while since they played and the body is getting used to the stress. Well, we expect to move from fourth to third, indeed second. Our aim to go and make a statement and making the statement means getting the cup, coming second or coming third.”
President of the Ghana Cricket Association, Emmanuel Asare was also optimistic of an improved performance from the previous feat achieved.
“Definitely, we all go to competitions we the hope to give off our best. I am not targeting to go and win that competition, but at least, wherever we reached in the previous competition, we will try and do much better to come up appreciably to the medal level. But we were handicapped and couldn’t get flowing funding to be able to play on regular basis, but the players on their own show so much commitment to train. Some travel to assess their level and it is laudable and we don’t want to kill that enthusiasm, so we are hoping they can go and improve upon it. Not that I won’t be happy for them to win, but to be realistic, if they are able to make the first 3, that will be fantastic for us, as we prepare for Africa 2023.”
Ghana is billed to face Rwanda on Monday, March 27, at 13:50 GMT for their first match, after which they will play Sierra Leone on Tuesday same time and the lock horns with Cameroon on Wednesday, also at 13:50 GMT.
Their final game in the single round robin to determine points will be against rivals Nigeria on Friday, March 31, 2023. The points Ghana will gain determines whether they’ll play 3rd place game OR finals.
The Ghana Cricket Association received some sponsorships from Underground Mining Alliance, Bel Aqua, who gave them their new brand, ALKAPLUS mineral water and other benevolent individuals and corporate bodies as well.
By: Davis Nii Attuquaye Clottey