Tikolo: 'We need quality opposition to improve'
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Following his side's 21-run defeat to the West Indies yesterday, Steve Tikolo, the Kenya captain, has criticised the lack of exposure and matches Associate cricket is afforded.
"The ICC is looking to spread the game globally," he said, "[but] I don't see how they are going to do it unless they get us involved in cricket activities. To be playing at this level, you have to be playing against these guys regularly. Playing them in World Cup warm-up matches and big tournaments alone is not good enough.
"We need quality opposition to improve and we are not getting that."
Tikolo led Kenya to winning the World Cricket League (WCL) in Nairobi last month, a tournament which pitted the top six Associates against each other. While the standard of cricket was generally good, the overwhelming response from the players was that they can only improve if they play full-member nations more regularly. Nevertheless, and despite the 21-run defeat yesterday, Tikolo was pleased with Kenya's performance.
"It was a fruitful exercise, since the main aim was to try and get some good combinations going in the team, and I think we did this," he said. "Obviously, we have another friendly game on Thursday, and we will try and give the guys who did not have a go a chance then to try and finalise our first 11.
"We bowled well at the start of their innings, but we let them get too many runs in the latter stages. I thought also that we batted well, but lost some batsmen in the middle, otherwise it would have been a different result."
Kenya face the Netherlands in their second warm-up match on Thursday at the Trelawny Stadium in Jamaica.
Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo