November 13, 2006

Kenya

Same old Kenyan bias

Martin Williamson





Sharad Ghai: blame it on the rain © Cricinfo
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This column has flagged on several occasions the slanted reporting of one or two journalists in Nairobi’s Nation newspaper, and that bias has again surfaced with quotes from Sharad Ghai, the larger than life former board chairman, following the abandonment of the ICC Intercontinental Cup tie against Bermuda.

“We had a golden opportunity to win," Ghai told the newspaper. “When drawing the fixtures Kenya should have considered the weather pattern. India will not agree their fixtures to be drawn for June because of Monsoon rains"

The Nation, so ready to quote the former board chairman, fails to mention that when Ghai was in charge rain was not an issue as almost no matches took place. The final home game under his tenure was an ICC Intercontinental Cup match held in … October …only four weeks earlier than the one he moaned about. And it is worth noting that on that occasion Kenya were forced to field a second XI as all leading players were on strike in a long-running dispute with Ghai’s board.

But, as the Nation’s journalists would have you believe, those were the good old days.

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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 samad parkar on (November 18, 2006, 18:09 GMT)

Sharad Hhai comes from a well known sporting family and he should know better,rather then making cheap comments,that even if god wanted he could not do nothing regarding the weather. Global climate change is what is the root problem all over the world.

Posted by Abdullah on (November 15, 2006, 13:02 GMT)

Well lets look at the negativity of the journalists with some positivity.....sometime it is good to have an opposition side to keep those in power on their toes. I think at long last Kenyan cricket is heading the right way!

Posted by Hubub on (November 15, 2006, 7:27 GMT)

The problem seems to be that when he was in a position to do something, Ghai sat on his ample backside and allowed the game to go to the dogs. Only now, when he has ruined Kenyan cricket does he start criticizing. The other issue is the bias of the Nation and its reporters. They pretend to be journalists when they are little more than stooges.

Posted by Mahendra Shah on (November 15, 2006, 6:28 GMT)

KYLIE is right that Sharad Ghai has right to comment on any issues. But that is not the bone of contention. The major issue here is that the reporters quote him without any cross references. For example when Ghai told the reporter that 'matches should not be held during rainy season' it was the reporter's duty to have quoted Ghai as well as challenged him that matches have taken place in Kenya during Oct-Nov when Ghai was at the helm. That would have completed the story in a fair manner.

Posted by Kylie on (November 14, 2006, 17:15 GMT)

Sharad Ghai has as much a right to air his opinion as any other Kenyan. The fact that he spoke out, and was quoted, does not mean we demean him so. He is no longer the CK boss, yes, but he is still involved in cricket, and can open his mouth and speak out like any other guy. If you have an opinion, speak it out, but let others also have their say. It is still a free country, remember!

Posted by Nasoor Verjee on (November 14, 2006, 10:01 GMT)

Ghai is being nothing but a nuisance. I am glad that you have cleared the issue of this fixture being an ICC Intercontinental Cup fixture drawn up almost a year ago a fact that is well known not only to Ghai but the local media as well.

Just to let your readers know, this same Ghai when he was fixtures secretary to the defunct KCA arranged a number of fixtures in the same month of Nov - notably West Indies and Karnataka.

Posted by Hubub on (November 14, 2006, 9:09 GMT)

Surely the newspapers owners need to look at why their reporters keep backing people like Ghai and criticize the new board. Under Ghai kenyan cricket was a disgrace, so what the hell gives him the right to attack the new board when he was responsible for most of the mess that almost killed the game. Time for the Fat Man to disappear for good.

Posted by Caleb Opuka on (November 14, 2006, 9:04 GMT)

Mr. Ghai is a spent force. But some reporters run after him for comments. Why get comments from a man who fell from power so disgracefully?

Posted by Zoeb Tayebjee on (November 14, 2006, 8:36 GMT)

Sharad Ghai, having been in cricket mainstream for more than 15 years, should have known that ICC continental Cup fixtures are drawn by ICC and not Cricket Kenya. If Ghai was quoted, as he was, the reporter should have taken some trouble to find out if international matches were played in Kenya during October and November - the rainy season. Records would show that Cricket has never stopped during these months. The 2002 Champions Trophy was played in Sri Lanka during Monsoon, and in the entire competition, only the last two matches were washed out, with India and Sri Lanka sharing the trophy. During the Ghai tenure reporters were feted with lunches at press conferences and briefings. Now, it's no more the case.

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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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