August 1, 2008

Kenya

Kenya's new coach faces first test

Will Luke

Ahead of the World Twenty20 Qualifiers, Will Luke met Kenya's new coach, Andy Kirsten:

The venue is Cranleigh School, the occasion a warm-up for Kenya's cricketers ahead of the World Twenty20 Qualifier in Belfast. Nestled on the Surrey-Sussex border, surrounded by acres of high-quality pitches and the best equipment, it is a far cry from the makeshift and often decrepit facilities that Nairobi offer. An idyll, belying the pressure on Kenya and their new coach, Andy Kirsten.

We meet under the pavilion canopy with Kenya batting against a side led by Abeed Janmohamed, himself a former pupil of the school and Kenyan wicketkeeper. As Kenya's batsmen come and go with worrying frequency, Kirsten casts his eye around the manicured lawns and professionally prepared squares. "This is unbelievable," he says, taking a moment away from scoring the match on his laptop. "In Kenya, it's not a rich cricketing nation in terms of what's available, but we have to make the best of what little is available. For example when we come here and see this magnificent structure for nets, we don't have that. Every time we want a net, it's a manual operation for a couple of guys to erect some nets with old wooden poles. There's nothing permanent. There's always a procedure to be done."

Read the full interview.

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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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