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03.04.2008 Cricket

Cricket Team Determined To Reach Final

The Skipper of the national cricket team, Peter Ananyah, says he and his teammates are bent on making their way to the final of this year's North-West African Tournament which began at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos, Nigeria, yesterday.

Ananyah, who spoke to the Daily Graphic at their Spicery Hotel in Lagos yesterday, said the  fact that he and his teammate lost to Nigeria in the maiden edition of the tournaments in The Gambia made it neccessary that they advance to the final and snatch the title.

"Before the tournament was expanded to become the North-West African tournament, it was known as the West African Quadrangular and we were the last champions, so we have a high pedigree to live up to.
 
It will not come on a silver platter but we will strive hard to bring the results," he told the Daily Graphic.

The team captain said complacency would not be part of their game plan because it could have very negative consequences.

"We want to take every match as it comes because while we play we are preparaing for a bigger tournament in Benoni City, South Africa.
 
We trained intensively in Accra for about seven weeks and this is the time to make it show in the way  we play," he said.
 
At the time of filing this report however, the fixtures for the week-long tournament were yet to be released. According to the Secretary-General of the Ghana Cricket Association (GCA), Mr Joshua Mensah, the balloting and drawing of the fixtures were supposed to be done at a technical meeting which was also yet to be held at the time of filing this report.

Ghana's Coach, Bhupinder Singh Brar, and two other Indian-born players, Prajul Pilai and Pratik Vyas, were expected to join the team in Lagos yesterday evening ahead of today's opening matches.

 Ghana is participating together with hosts and defending champions, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Mali, The Gambia, Cameroun and Morocco. As of yesterday morning the Moroccan team had not arrived in Lagos.

In a separate interview, Nigeria's Coach, Ewa Henshaw, predicted that this tournament would be very competitive. "Yes we are the defending champions, but it does not automatically mean that we can defend our title. We have to play, and the best team will carry the trophy," he said.

Story by Nathaniel Attoh.

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