January 26, 2009

Kenya

Ghai slams 'illegal' Cricket Kenya board

Martin Williamson

Former Kenyan Cricket Association boss Sharad Ghai has launched a remarkable attack on the current board, accusing chairman Samir Inamdar of putting his globe-trotting ahead of the interest of the game.

Ghai was ousted in 2005 after bitter disputes with players and stakeholders. Despite that, Ghai, who many suspect of still harbouring ambitions to return to national administration, claimed that Kenyan cricket was now at an all-time low.

Speaking to Sports Monthly magazine, Ghai slammed almost every aspect of the way Cricket Kenya is run. He reserved his most bitter attacks for Inamdar, a man who did more than most to help oust him. "The chairman is too preoccupied with the happenings at ICC at the expense of local cricket," Ghai said, "and who is paying for the travelling expenses."

Ghai also accuses the board of remaining in office illegally by not calling elections, a comment that one senior administrator under both regimes described as "the ultimate example of the pot calling the kettle black".

Elections, which are scheduled for next month, should have been held in June 2007 but have been constantly delayed by the failure of the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association to sort out their own constitution. "The same person who is in the chair presently was a strong advocate of amending the constitution to be in line with CK," Ghai said. "[But] the goal posts have been shifted to give the team the excuse to remain in power illegally."

Ghai then attacked the failure of the board to ensure that money from Tusker, the main sponsor, was paid. "I have had dealings in the past with the sponsors and can state they are serious people who meet every commitment and obligation," he said. "CK has been giving the excuse the delay has been caused by a change of guard, yet successor takes over what his predecessor left.

"Kenyan cricket has been reduced to the lowest standard of competition," he concluded. "Cricket in Kenya is now in the ICU and if emergency measures are not taken, it is going to die."

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

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Posted by martin fry on (January 30, 2009, 21:19 GMT)

If Sharad Ghai answers the question as to how come the media deal brokered with his company Media Plus earned Kenyan cricket almost nothing then he will have the right to slam the board. Until then he should shut up.

Posted by Speechless Lecturer on (January 30, 2009, 20:53 GMT)

I completely agree...Subhash Ghai is a great Director!

Posted by Paul Ikaa on (January 30, 2009, 7:27 GMT)

I want to agree with Sharad Ghai for once that Kenya Cricket is at its lowest since 1980s!We have an old team that is not adapting to changed times.

Cricket Kenya set up a committee to investigate the team's performance in the European tour towards the end of last year. Almost 4 months later, no report has been released-at least not to the public! The players who were in the European tour are currently playing the Zimbabwe series. Do we expect a better performance from the same players this time round? No wonder we are getting a hammering from the Zims. We need a crop of new players in the team. Most players in the current team are complaisant as their positions are guaranteed. We need competition for the Kenya Jerseys. What happened to the rising star Tanmay Mishra anyway? The board has to do more to spread the game in schools. This will broaden the pool of players as well as attract corporate sponsors.

Ghai had his days in the board and his record is in public knowledge.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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