March 6, 2007

Kenya

Tikolo: 'We need quality opposition to improve'

Will Luke

(Leave your thoughts in the comments below)

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.

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Posted by ajithlalm on (March 11, 2007, 14:57 GMT)

I think Steve Tiklo is right. I think test playing nations should play against the other countries to promote the game. Also, some of the games should be telecasted and shown in television to make the players popular. Sadly, most countries would not play against other countries because the money involved on playing against lesser countries is very less. Matches like Australia versus India etc produce lots and lots of money while match like Australia versus Kenya or India versus Kenya produce very less money. So most countries would like to play against the countries which produce more money than less money. Also, it is hard to find sponsors and television rights for the games with developing nations. Also, some former players are also providing opinions that lesser countries should not be in the World Cup. I think this only reduce the fall of the less nations.

Football is another game that is played among lots of countries. One of the reason the cricket is not globilized or interested by other nations is that it is played by only 10 test playing countries. Most people loves to watch sports that their countries get involve.

I think some countries should certainly help to increase the quality of the cricket. For eg. Bermuda and Canada should play in the domestic matches of Westindies and the national team can play one or two matches when they are in the country and other countries tour them. Same way Southafrica can help Kenya and Zimbabwe. Same way England can help Ireland, Scotland, and Netherland.

Another problem is some players in the test playing nations does not want to play against. I think players would complaint of fatigue, over playing, etc and does not want to play against lesser team should be given rest and other players should be given opportunities(test playing nations)

Posted by Laksh... on (March 7, 2007, 19:25 GMT)

Tikolo & Kenya Rock... They seriously deserve a place in any tournament... ICC should seriously consider these & pls develop the Non test nations with even more commitment... I dont know y Quadrangular series are not being played? Instead of 1 V 1 here after ICC & other boards should encourage Tri/Quadrangular so that more teams can get involved... For example How about this tournament> Bangladesh V Zimbabwe V Kenya V Ireland or Scotland or Netherlands or Canada in Bangladesh? SHould be great, anyone can win it... Or Tri series between Zim V Ban V Kenya in Kenya or Zim??? Tournaments like these will boost the confidence in the smaller teams... If any of U guys reading our posts pls take it seriously... Is Works & Many of us wanna see a lot more teams getting involved in Cricket! Wat ever comments received against the Non Test nations are serious CRAP... No team is gonna be big at once! Even teams like South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Now Bangladesh all of them had worst times in the bigging but now see them... Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Kenya & Netherlands Should be a very big boost for the game of cricket if they settel down & that can be done only by ICC (Now U pay, later they earn)... Wat say Guys????

Posted by omar on (March 7, 2007, 15:53 GMT)

i think kenya is a good team. not a fantastic one but a good team. they are not bad at all considering the game in the 70's and 80's. now the game is a very high standard and if these teams are to improve. i suggest they should play long tours in each country and get experience playing against all the countries "A" teams and then play a 2 matches against a national side. then there game will improve.

my formula

long tours where the minnow will play the top clubs in a country, followed by a test series and a one day series against the "a" sides and to round it off they should play one or two games with the test playing nations until there standard and performence increasers.

Posted by Deepak on (March 7, 2007, 13:21 GMT)

well kenya and all the other five top associate countries should participate in the domestic tournaments of the test playing nations..By doing this they generate an experienced and talented player pool ... Also they should have two A tours each year from the top 8 nations in their home nations atleast having 5 odi's and 3 five day matches....This will generate a interest for the game among the local populace and also they will have the experience of playing both at home and overseas... i think all the african associates like kenya,uganda,namibia and even zimbabwe should participate in the south african domestic season...also scotland,netherlands and ireland shold play the english county..canada ,bermuda and usa in the currie cup

Posted by Ricky on (March 7, 2007, 12:12 GMT)

Tikolo words are wisdom. If you don’t play against different teams of different quality how will any side develop them selves? Kenya has been the best of the minor sides for years now. But still the play those sides over and over. How will they climb up the ladder if they don’t play the test nations? I agree to Tikolo and Dravids comments. Like wise Ponting’s comments are rubbish. Cricket will never improve around the world if you have people like Ponting giving there views and been leaders of this great game.

Posted by Ch. Shahbaz on (March 7, 2007, 8:18 GMT)

Hello,

My suggestion in this regard is that it must be mandatory for every test playing nation to host top 2-3 associated teams once in two years for a couple or 3 ODIs. Steve Tikolo's point is very valid and must be appreciated by the ICC.

Shahbaz. Islamabad. Pakistan

Posted by Richard on (March 7, 2007, 8:16 GMT)

I agree about playing against stronger teams.

A possible solution would be to have a promotion and relegation system where the strongest of the lower tear are promoted and the weakest of the top 8 are demoted. Kenya is a good team and deserve the chance . Lets face it they deserve more of a chance than Zimbabwe has been given and they are far more copetitive than Zim.

I am sure money comes into it though and everyone knows the ICC wants their pound of flesh.

Posted by Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on (March 7, 2007, 6:19 GMT)

Ayush and others will change mindset soon:

Already, there has been enough off simmering. Now, the pot is on the boil. It's for everyone to see.

It's up to the governing body to ensure that teams that are on the verge of making it into the big league, get some token games against the other test playing nations with some frequency.

This will help their cause a great deal.

Now that Bangladesh have added another scalp to their impressive rooster, they may be just about ready to score the first real hit and account for one of the two contenders in their group. Watch out for more upsets!

The million dollar question, would it be India or Sri Lanka!

A heart or two may flutter or even sink here with this thought filtering through millions of cricket crazy fans around the world.

If Bangladesh is to meet that eventuality now and enter the realms of big time cricket of the super eight, the former would be fancied as the better choice of the two available options. In reality, they would not mind taking the harder of the two routes.

Behold, don’t take it to heart so early. The same scenario could work up in other groups, too. After all, the predictions are that this is going to be the most open ended competition, yet.

Cheers!

Posted by Harry on (March 7, 2007, 6:04 GMT)

What about the full member nations 'A' sides playing the associate members regularly?

That way you get strength vs strength and the teams get to improve their games.

Posted by Nathan on (March 7, 2007, 5:57 GMT)

Kenya in 2004 participated in the West Indies Domestic First Class competition, The Red Stripe Bowl. Unfourtunately that only seemed to be a one off. The Netherlands were for quite a while participating in one of England's Domestic one day Cups, but the ECB chose to end that arrangement recently. Including these sides in the top first class leagues would be one of the better ways to go aswell as the perhaps more feasible A-Team and Academy tours.

England is not the only one pulling it's weight. Australia could do more, so could New Zealand, India, Pakistan, South Africa and others.

For instance, why not have Kenya in South Africa's domestic first class competition, as in the first or 2nd tier, like they do with Namibia?

The Western Warriors in Australia's First Class competition could easily make some sort of arrangement with our neighbours across the Indian Ocean in Kenay too. Involving donating equipment, tours and even the odd Kenyan player coming over to Perth to play club cricket and train with the Warriors and the local academy?

But realistically this all costs money. And as people have suggested, the ICC want return for their investment.

It's interesting though, Cricket Australia has been heavily involved in helping the development of Cricket in China. That's an investment where big returns are hoped for.

Kenya did sign a rich television deal with Nimbus recently though. While the market's in places like Kenya aren't as big as some others, there still is quite some potential there, and it may be worth investing more.

Tikolo should well know from his experience, that it is difficult to say the least to arrange fixtures with the big teams. Some more lateral thinking may be required, but that's not to say one should give up. And one day, soon, the likes of Kenya will be Test Teams anyway.

As people have mentioned though, Bangadesh is a test team, yet rarely plays a test.

Perhaps there is some merit in having a second tier in the Test arena? With the likes of Zimbabwe, Kenya, Bangladesh and maybe another team playing each other intensively?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Luke
Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.

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