October 18, 2006

Kenya

More board bashing from a familar direction

Martin Williamson

Once again, the Nation’s Chris Tsuma has used his newspaper to continue his vendetta against the board of Cricket Kenya. A fortnight ago we highlighted a number of instances where the paper carried slanted reports about the board, and Tsuma, whose reaction to cricticism is well documented, is back.

On Monday, he quoted Roger Harper, Kenya’s coach, who made some fair observations of the state of the domestic game. But Tsuma, who it should be stressed has made no attempt to contact Samir Inamdar, Cricket Kenya’s chairman, for his side of the story, really warmed to his task on Tuesday.

“Despite pre-election pronouncements to the contrary by the Cricket Kenya incumbents, the board has yet to do anything to improve the quality of domestic competition or start a national competition in any forms of the game,” Tsuma wrote.

For the umpteenth time – and it really happens too often for it to be an oversight – Tsuma chooses to ignore the fact that the Kenyan Cricket Association, the predecessors of the current board, left a legacy of debts totaling $500,000, no sponsors, and a sport so sullied that no commercial entities would touch it. Against this backdrop, it is trying to rebuild while existing on an annual grant of $70,000 from the ICC.

Tsuma quotes a Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association official as saying that “clubs are struggling to cope without any form of support from Cricket Kenya”. Given the budgetary difficulties, what is expected?

We can only repeat the question we have asked many times. Why is the Nation’s sports desk following this overtly critical agenda when it was so silent when so much was going wrong when the old KCA were in power. Why did it not rush out to speak to NPCA officials when the association was chucked out of the KCA in 2002? And we all know that Tsuma and his ilk think things are dire, but why have they not once come up with any suggestions for a way ahead? And why do they not speak to board officials? All that is asked for is balance. Don’t hold your breath.

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by lighting on (June 18, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

Great study... Did you do all of it on your personal? This must've taken lots of time. Excellent Article.

Posted by PK on (October 20, 2006, 8:14 GMT)

I was playing in CCA in good old 80's. They probably had not much financial support then and probably none later from KCA. There was talent then and there is now. But it needs to be harvested before it goes by the wayside.

The legacy left by KCA, means it will take time for the new administration to recover. But, hopefully, it is moving in a positive direction.

As for the Nation writer, Mr Tsuma, the less said the better. I read the Nation online, and whenever there is any news of cricket of Kenya, he covers it but only if it is negative. Recently Kenyans thrashed Uganda. I did not see a single piece of article about this online. So I have absolutely no faith that Mr. Tsuma is a fair journalist who would like to report about "both sides of the coin" rather than only one. And for crickets sake in Kenya, I hope he gets behind this in a positive manner and support it. If he cannot, then he should stop his biased incorrect criticism and that itself would be positive move for cricket in Kenya!!!

Posted by roger on (October 19, 2006, 10:23 GMT)

The current administration was saddled with such problems (lack of finance, lack of credibility, lack of trust) bequeathed to it by the "ancien regime" that it will take more than a year to pull it around. Give them time.

I left Kenya in 19998 after 10 years playing for Nairobi Club & Kongonis and during that time got pretty close to the KCA and NPCA hierarchies and it didn't take a genius to spot the rotten apples.

Can anybody tell me whether the accounts for the Quadrangular and ICC Champions Trophies were ever published?

Posted by Zoeb Tayebjee on (October 19, 2006, 7:35 GMT)

Domestic cricket rot started as early as 1996, when the then KCA did very little, or nothing, to either sustain or improve the league. As a national body, it was their responsibility. All national tournaments, resposibility of the KCA, were dead. Prior to that cometition level in national tournaments - The Uhuru Cup, Kenyatta Day Cup, Madaraka Day Cup and the National Knockout tournaments - were very high.

The new cricket administration is about a year old and they can do no miracles after taking over the rot all around them. It is true that the domestic league is of poor standards but we should not be told that this happened in one year. The systemetic rot was lead by the KCA and it will need systematic efforts to put it on the track.

For this to happen, Sameer Inamdar & comapany needs support and goodwill of the public. They have it, no matter what the critics, some of them probably being milead, are saying.

Zoeb Tayebjee, Nairobi.

Posted by Alan on (October 18, 2006, 17:49 GMT)

Interesting that the ghosts of the old guard still haunt Kenyan cricket.

I have read some of the local media coverage of the Board and it's clear they are as biased against the new guys as they were pathetic in examining the former Board. Your writer asks why that was. I think we all know.

Its a shame as the Nation has done much good. People such as the writer who attacks the Board do it and Kenyan cricket no good at all.

Posted by Roy Cooper on (October 18, 2006, 17:20 GMT)

Having spent three years working in cricket development in Kenya from 1999-2002 I am intrigued to hear what is happening now with Kenyan cricket.

During my time working for the Coast Cricket Association under the chairmanship of Samir Inamdar, I can confirm that CCA received no funding for development from the then governing body KCA. Lots of promises were made from the likes of Sharad Gai, but never any money. I was funded partly by VSO in London, but mainly by CCA from the little funds they had...money from club affiliations etc plus monies made from various touring teams playing in Mombasa.I have a pretty good idea that a not unsubstational amount came from the pockets of a few CCA Commitee members!!

If there is ANYONE who can turn around the fortunes of Kenyan cricket it is Samir Inamdar. He does not need Roger Harper telling him that domestic cricket isn't strong enough...he already knows, and has known for a long time. But how can that be changed overnight? Anyone with half an ounce of cricketing sense will know that.

Which brings me nicely to The Nation newspaper and its cricket correspondents. It takes only a two minute conversation to prove categorically that they have absolutely no understanding of the game. One journalist who filed a report to the BBC World Service on a four-day match between Kenya and the West Indies in August 2001 did not even understand a cricket scorecard!!!

When I left Mombasa in August 2002 there were a number of promising youngsters playing there.The depth of competition is a major problem, however with time, perseverance, patience, coaching,and it has to be said..money, things will improve: Constant bitching will not help.

What is needed is for the whole cricketing fraternity in Kenya to get behind Samir and his team. If the ICC then do their bit financially, Kenyan cricket will reverse the trend seen over the course ot the last few years.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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