Kenya in Bangladesh 2005-06 March 15, 2006

Tikolo: 'Bangladesh are favourites'

Cricinfo staff

Steve Tikolo talks to the media in Dhaka © AFP
Steve Tikolo, Kenya's captain, admitted that at the moment his side were more concerned with playing international cricket than the results.

Speaking at a press conference after arriving in Dhaka for a four-match series against Bangladesh, Tikolo was clear that a lack of matches had seriously harmed his side. "We have had very little opportunities to play international games since our commendable performance in the last World Cup. We are hoping that our lack of exposure would be taken under consideration by the world cricket governing body.

"Once we were close rivals of Bangladesh in any competition. But this time Bangladesh are favourites. We're going to start as the underdogs but we are fully prepared to give good fight."

Tikolo has played club cricket in Dhaka for several seasons and is familiar to the conditions and the climate, but he warned that "domestic and international cricket are not the same thing." He was the leading run-scorer in the Premier Cricket League in 2005-06.

While his experience and pedigree are well known, Tikolo was keen to talk up some of the Kenyan youngsters. "The young guys are very much focusing on the series and are hungry to show their best. There are some new players who have the talent to put pressure on the opponents. We should have won 3-1 in Zimbabwe but cricket is such a game where one ball can change the whole scenario of the match,"

Tikolo's views were endorsed by Roger Harper, who took over as Kenya's coach less than two months ago. "Kenya do not get enough opportunity to play international cricket, so we are happy that we've got the chance to play a few games after four matches against Zimbabwe. But we need more international exposure.

"Our captain knows the condition and the players and I believe it will help us. You will recognise some young faces. What impressed me most is the enthusiasm among the cricketers about the tour. We came here to play good and competitive cricket."

The series starts with an ODI at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium on Friday (March 17).