November 2, 2007


Odumbe ban could be lifted

Will Luke

Should Odumbe return? Leave your comments below

Odumbe could make his comeback before his five-year suspension has been served © AFP

Maurice Odumbe, the former Kenya captain who was banned from cricket for five year for his involvement with bookmakers, could return to the game before his five-year suspension has been served.

A report in The Standard said that Cassim Sulliman, the ICC Regional development manager and CEO of the Africa Cricket Association, had indicated that Odumbe could be allowed to resume his career if Cricket Kenya (CK) appeals to the ICC.

"I have watched Odumbe play and I think he would be an asset to Kenya cricket when he returns to action," Sulliman told the newspaper. "The best way Cricket Kenya could handle this issue is by compiling all details of the ban and writing a letter to ICC asking for leniency on the player who has already served two thirds of his ban. ICC may decide to reduce the sentence if the local body needs the player."

Tom Tikolo, CK's chief executive, said they were willing to help but they needed an approach from the player. "We cannot just write to ICC asking them for leniency over Odumbe's ban when we don't know the details of the issue," he said. "Let Odumbe meet [the] CK board and present us with the details."

Odumbe, 38, told the newspaper that while he was willing to do what the board suggested, but he was critical that it had not acted before now. "I think they should have at least taken some action earlier since the information of my ban is available with ICC and in the internet."

Odumbe was banned in 2004 after a hearing in Nairobi and an appeal by him in 2006 was unsuccessful.

What is not so clear is under what authority Sulliman made his comments. Last month he told officials in Uganda that he was working on getting three more countries ODI status within 180 days. The ICC subsequently denied any such plans existed.


Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by kimberly Paul on (October 11, 2008, 2:52 GMT)

I've had the opportunity to observe Mr. Odumbe's performance playing cricket. I think he would definitey bring back the excitement to Kenyan cricket, as well as his Kenyan community and country.

Posted by kimberly Paul on (October 11, 2008, 2:52 GMT)

I've had the opportunity to observe Mr. Odumbe's performance playing cricket. I think he would definitey bring back the excitement to Kenyan cricket, as well as his Kenyan community and country.

Posted by Andrea Marable on (March 21, 2008, 18:44 GMT)

Odumbe is a asset to the Kenyan team. Bringing him back would help the team a lot.

Posted by Andy on (November 9, 2007, 23:35 GMT)

If Maurice's ban is to be lifted which I hope it is he would probably still have to show that he is still in the kind of form that saw him be part of the backbone of the Kenya team that stunned so many at the 2003 World Cup leave.

Posted by samad parkar on (November 7, 2007, 18:50 GMT)

Hi,I for one would dearly like to see Maurice back on the international stage.Memories are short.people has to go on.Maurice has done a lot for the progression of Kenyan Cricket.He had all the charisma of a top professional & i think he should be brought back into the National team & when he decides to retire,it should be honoured by the Kenyan authorities & give him a respectful & honorable retirement

Posted by Zoeb Tayebjee on (November 5, 2007, 11:18 GMT)

If Mr. Cassim Sulliman, the ICC regional development manager, thinks that someone at the age of 38 will be an asset to Kenya, something must be wrong with his thinking. Odumbe was great in his time. Why is Mr Sulliman picking on Odumbe, much older then Hitesh Modi, Ravindu Shah and Kennedy Otieno who have been out of the National teams for one reason or the other. As a development manager Mr Sullivan should focus on youths.

Posted by matthew coote on (November 4, 2007, 13:23 GMT)

Bring him back, it was a tough penalty considering what others got/didn't get. He would be a great asset to Kenyan cricket, even at his age.

Posted by Rich B on (November 3, 2007, 11:42 GMT)

Your article says Odumbe was "banned from cricket". If this simply means banned from the national team, I would say his ban should be upheld. Odumbe's ban serves as an example to other players, and his return to the team would tarnish CK's reputation.

Having said that, I think he'd be a great asset to the new Kenyan national league, along with players like Otieno and Modi, should they return. The Kenyan team is fairly inexperienced at present, and could do with a few older heads to mature amonst.

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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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