Kenya June 15, 2007

Kenyan board suspends Centrals province

Cricket Kenya (CK) has suspended its Central province ahead of next month's board elections.

Cricket Kenya (CK) has suspended its Central province ahead of next month's board elections.

"The province has not promoted any form of the game in their area of jurisdiction," Samir Inamdar, CK's chairman, told Cricinfo. "They have less than the prescribed three active clubs as required for the formation of branches. The decision to suspend their membership of CK was unanimously reached in a special council meeting. "

The province was set up by the old Kenyan Cricket Association, and at the time Cricinfo reported that it appeared to have been created to give the existing board extra votes as there was little evidence of any meaningful cricket being played there.

When the old KCA executive was ousted in May 2005, the new board decided to embrace Centrals (and Rift Valley, another disputed new province) and try to promote the game there. To safeguard the possibility that a province could not simply be guaranteed its place as a member with representation rights without ensuring that it had a minimal level of cricket being played within it, it was decided, in keeping with past practice, that a province had to have a minimum of three cricket-playing clubs to remain as a provincial affiliate.

While in Rift Valley that faith has been justified - there are now 12 active clubs in the region - in Centrals there has been almost no activity Inamdar said: "the province is at present, from a cricketing perspective, totally moribund".

S Bindal, Centrals' provincial representative, never attended any board or council meeting and, as a result, lost his seat under CK rules.

Joshua Kiragu, the Centrals chairman, was appointed as CK's development convenor. "He was given the task of co-ordinating the Cricket Without Boundaries project in Western Province," Inamdar said. "The board had raised queries about the application of certain funding given to him for this project and despite repeated requests he failed to report to the CEO and/or the treasurer on this issue." The CK executive has resolved to remove him from his seat on the ground that he too has failed to attend any board or council meetings for over a year. The executive voted to suspend Central, citing the fact that "it had no active cricket being played, no real structure, no constitution and no recognised officials".

CK officials believe that cricket has a future in the region and they will attempt to relaunch the game when new and more reliable people can be found. "There is great potential there particularly among schools," Inamdar said, "and a good possible source of funding from the many high profile businesses and industries in the vicinity."

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