February 19, 2007


Will Kenya's players never learn?

Martin Williamson

The Kenyan media has rounded on the country’s players after they stopped training in a dispute over non payment of match fees for the cancelled game against Canada in January. Whereas player strikes were common during the time of the old Kenyan Cricket Association, things have moved on, and the players find themselves attacked for their latest attempts to blackmail the board.

An editorial in The Standard says:-

Players also ought to put patriotism before cash for the national good. While we appreciate that they have families to feed, staging a strike over a match that was not played is regrettable.

In The Nation, Sulubu Tuva looks at the history behind the dispute and concludes:-

It is so sad now that even with the new dispensation in the form of Cricket Kenya led by Samir Inamdar with Tom Tikolo as chief executive, the players are resorting to the same old habits of holding the cricket administrators to ransom.

Will we never learn? Those in cricket need to create trust amongst themselves. These matters are not limited to just Kenya. They are global and will continue to exist. What we need to see is that the players find a more civilised way to deal with these issues.

And on Cricinfo, Martin Williamson adopted a similar line, pointing out that this way of approaching issues will harm the game and the players in the long-term:-

The action by the players ... was at best ill advised, at worst utter stupidity. It sent a message to the wider community that nothing had changed, that Kenyan cricket was still a disorganised and dysfunctional shambles. The reality is quite different, but the damage has been done.

It also seems likely that a few players tried to be smart and used the media to try to force Cricket Kenya's hand. The story was leaked and embellished. What was written up as a sit-in was in reality a planned meeting to discuss the issue. In the end, the only losers are the players themselves. If a sponsor cannot be found then they will be the ones who directly lose out.


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 Sanjay Hirani on (March 3, 2007, 3:26 GMT)

The recent strike by the cricket team is nothing new. It just further confirms the attitudes of the players, personal benefits and glory, thats all. These scenerio has also being witnessed in the local league over the years whereby clubs have being held at ransom as well on prominant match days.

Posted by Sam on (March 1, 2007, 5:49 GMT)

I think it was very uncalled for but patriotism is as important as the money u get paid.

Posted by Rajesh Kothary on (February 24, 2007, 15:41 GMT)

It is utter shame that when the team should be practising hard for the world cup, they decide to go on strike.I think this action will lose respect from the public and also show the world that Kenya cricket is not organized which I believe is not quite true.Play the game guys!!!

Posted by Udayan Sanyal on (February 24, 2007, 12:04 GMT)

It's a sad thing for cricket in Kenya that there is no patiotism in the players for there country .Being top 11th cricket playing nation it does not also suit the Kenyan board to not to pay match fee to the players.

Posted by Zoeb Tayebjee on (February 22, 2007, 6:30 GMT)

'Blackmail' has been part and parcel of Cricket in Kenya. 'Cricket Kenya' should not have succumbed, like their predecessors, even if it meant raising a second string. It is a great shame that they went on strike demanding 'peanuts' (U.S.Dollar 90) compared to U.S.D 5,000 that was promised to each of them a day earlier. These players have lost respect of the fans and this could be one of the reasons fans don't turn up to support the 'blackmailers'.

Zoeb Tayebjee/Nairobi.

Posted by Shabs on (February 19, 2007, 16:39 GMT)

The board should have paid quickly in order to avoid this strike. However, an element of mutual trust should be there such that this situation is not allowed to happen

Comments have now been closed for this article


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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