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Kenya Cricket missing in action!

16 Mar

The Cricket world cup is up and running which people can be forgiven to ask where the hell is Kenya?? In a tournament featuring the likes of Afghanistan, the UAE and Scotland one cannot but wonder what has happened to Kenya cricket over the years. One can look at the glory years of the early 90s, a shock victory over the West Indies in the 1996 World Cup thrust the Kenyans into the spotlight. They won completely on merit, and Steve Tikolo looked, by far, to be the best batsman in the game. The bowlers performed excellently to defend a paltry total, and despite a less excellent performance against Sri Lanka in their last game, the ICC saw fit to invest in ODI status for the Kenyans. In the 2003 world cup victories over fancied opponents like Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka managed to carry the team all the way to the semi finals of the prestigious tournament. The followed years of regular wins against associates like Ireland, Canada and Scotland however, 11 years after being granted ODI status, we find ourselves in Division 2 for the next four years or more and more so we have lost that one day status.

Kenya cricket legendĀ  Aasif Karim believes that the foundations of Kenyan cricket are collapsing. The development structure and domestic cricket became weaker as Kenya developed internationally. Karim and his team-mates in the 2003 World Cup learned the game in the competitive Nairobi club scene in the 1980s. Test players including Sanjay Manjrekar, Kiran More and Sandeep Patil were all involved. But too little was done to bridge the gap between club and international games. “If you don’t have a good development structure, where are the Tikolos or the Odumbes or the other players to come from? he asked. He stated that Kenyan cricket is as good as dead and to revive it will take a monumental task that involves all stakeholders, and they would have a brainstorming session for a week or so to try and see how we could revive it. Then obviously the key would be to go into schools cricket, estate cricket, development cricket, and start again. If those things were done correctly and we had good, competitive cricket, we could bring back the crowd support. That would generate income because you could bring in the corporates.





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