Ghana will take on West African rivals Nigeria tomorrow in the opening match of the 2018 Africa Division 2 Under-19 Cricket World Cup qualifiers to be staged in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Ghana has been pooled alongside Mozambique, Nigeria, Lesotho and the Gambia in Zone B in the August 19 to 29 qualifiers. Top two teams in each group progress to semi-finals with 11 countries battling it out for three spots into Division 1 for the Cricket World Cup slated for New Zealand in 2020.
Other participating teams are Botswana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, Gambia, Swaziland and Zambia.
Ghana’s team were unsuccessful in their last attempt to make it to the World Cup, failing at the last round of qualifiers played in Kenya last year.
However, Ghana’s team manager, Henry Ackom, believes the story will change this time round, as he led a contingent of 14 players to South Africa yesterday ahead of the two-week qualifiers.
"This is an entirely new team, but we will not be pushovers at this qualifiers. I can say that we will do our best.
“The players started training about three months ago in their respective regions, but they began non-residential camping three weeks ago ahead of our departure so we are hoping for the best this time round," Mr Ackom told the Daily Graphic yesterday.
Players who made the trip to south Africa include the captain Joseph Oko Adotei, Richmond Baaleri, Bless Bakodie, Jerry Angel Gbafah, Enoch Frimpong, Eric Amoah and David Mario Pereira.
The rest were Ibrahim Nurudeen, Paul Ayoleyine, Abraham Nii Quaye, Yahaya Abdul Mohammed, Obed Taylor and Mills Yaotse and team coach, Francis Bakiweyem.
Accra-based IT company, I.C. Limited, Everest Cricket Association at Tesano, Ghana Aluminnium Products Limited as well as the president of the association, Mr Emmanuel Owusu Ansah Asare sponsored the Ghanaian team.