Kenya March 1, 2010

Cause for hope in Kenya

There is a renewed mood of optimism in the Kenya cricket camp following their five-wicket victory over the Netherlands last week.
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There is a renewed mood of optimism in the Kenya cricket camp following their five-wicket victory over the Netherlands last week.

Although it is still unlikely that the result will give Kenya passage to the Intercontinental Cup final in Dubai in November, it is proof that the sterner regime inaugurated by coach Eldine Baptiste is beginning to pay off. Cricketers can now go around with a smile on their faces following a crucial win in which all departments performed well, although the fielding is in desperate need of some tidying up.

The game was all the talk in Nairobi cricketing circles at the weekend when Kongonis, who are a main arm in the development of the game in the country, held their annual Chairman's XI v Patron's XI fixture at Nairobi Club. There the match, which included national assistant coach Martin Suji appearing for the Chairman's XI, was watched by more people than had been at most of the international fixtures at Gymkhana.

That fact must be a worry for Cricket Kenya (CK), although the despondency that fell upon the country after the withdrawal by the ICC of the Under-19 World Cup in January has been partly sloughed off. Nonetheless, this set a pall over Kenya's cricket-loving fraternity and the various agencies associated with it, such as the tourism sector, for several months.

Now CK needs to look again to the future, market the game more creatively, encourage spectators to its fixtures and get its grounds in spot-on condition for 2012 and its next opportunity to host the Under-19 World Cup.

Meanwhile, an eye on the successful Logan Cup in Zimbabwe may indicate that the way forward in the longer game could be to set up a five-way provincial contest in East Africa, taking in Coast, Nairobi/Central, Rift Valley/West from Kenya, along with two Ugandan teams, Buganda (West of Nile) and Busoga (East of Nile).

This, with the possible later addition of a Tanzanian side, might prove to be the way ahead for boosting the four-day game, on which the concept of the Intercontinental Cup and Intercontinental Shield is built, throughout the region.

Could it be that in future there will not just be a Chairman's XI v Patron's XI fixture in the late season, but a Logan Cup XI v an 'Elgon' Cup XI too? Colin McBeth

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • khamati william on May 11, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    It is great news that Kenya are waking up,though we miss them in the 2020 tournament.I want to encourage CK to expound the game to all majour towns as we got alot of talent untapped and i believe we will win the major world trophies.Big up the Obuyas.

  • Susanta Nanda on March 5, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    Kenya Need Six Special Front Line Batsman One Wicket Keeper and 3 Fast Bowler with One Spinner in there Side.

    Here is My Choice Team for the Next couple of Matches....

    1) Devid Obuya. 2) Thomas Odoyo ( In ODI for hitting in first 15 Overs ) 3) Rakeb Patel. 4) Stiv Tikolo. 5) Alex Obanda. 6) Moric Uma. 7) Colins Obuya. 8) Jimmy Kamande. 9) N Odhiambo. 10) H Variya. 11) Piter Ongondo.

    Give More Over to bal to Jimmy Kamande & Collin Obuya.

    Please Back Tanmay Mishra To the Team... Also give more chance to Seren Watters And Ragheb Aaga.

  • Walter Trenk on March 4, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    I agree entirely with Coin Macbeth's idea of a Logan Cup type of fixture/tournament because this would raise the standards in the whole region.The buttons of the young mushrooms are showing especially in Kenya and we do hope that Kenya will built on their recent successes. The team is young so there is a lot of room for improvement.We may also try to involve the other provinces in order for the game to grow at the grassroots.

  • samad parkar on March 4, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Congratulations to the Kenyan team on their victory against Holland.I Still think we are a couple of Batsman short in the middle order & a good opening bowler is also required in the mould of Martin suji.To Win without Stevi & Thomas bust give all the other players a boost & much needed Confidence. Four day cricket is must for the progression of Cricket in Kenya.Good luck to the team & C.K.

  • Dipesh vaya on March 3, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    congrulations kenya on playing quality cricket this is where you belong keep on the great form boys and well for thrashing for thrashing the nethlands countinue playing this way and make us proud one day

  • Amar Mendes on March 3, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    Colin The fixture can be baptized pertaining to “Lake Victoria" Something like {VICTORIA SUPER SERIES} as all three nations share the lake, and someday Tanzanian can join.

  • Mital on March 3, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    As long as politicians keep out of cricket, and the managing committees don't aim to mint money and loot, things should improve! If Cricket Kenya wants the game to thrive, they can make it happen by starting right from the grassroots. If there's potential & results, sponsors will be happy to support the team.

  • edwin njoka on March 3, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    GO KENYA GO . AS FANS WE HAVE HIGH HOPE FOR YOU

  • Colin Macbeth on March 2, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Yes, Amar, it's me! I'm glad that you support the Logan Cup XI v 'Elgon' Cup XI idea. Others do too. Incidentally the real Logan Cup is a rugby fixture between Kenya and Uganda. We would have to think of another name.

  • Hussein Ali on March 2, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    It is indeed happy time for the Kenyan Cricket Team who has given the fans something to smile after a long time.But the work ahead is long and hard we need to look at the performance of the team and see how it can be improved with the ICC Leauge in June .Firstly the bowlers need to improve and aim at getting wickets Varaiya once a wicket taker seems to have lost his touch and also the medium pacers need to sharpen up and we need desparately a genuine fast bowler who can also swing the ball.Batting needs stability and Obanda and Ouma need to play longer and form a nucleus for other players to bat along .Since the team is very young Fielding should not be a problem and the coach should put intensive training for this.Lastly lets build on this and organize more matches for the Team and invite more players to the team and organize some high level competions locally to boost the game.In the meantime congratulations to the team and officials well done guys keep it up

  • khamati william on May 11, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    It is great news that Kenya are waking up,though we miss them in the 2020 tournament.I want to encourage CK to expound the game to all majour towns as we got alot of talent untapped and i believe we will win the major world trophies.Big up the Obuyas.

  • Susanta Nanda on March 5, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    Kenya Need Six Special Front Line Batsman One Wicket Keeper and 3 Fast Bowler with One Spinner in there Side.

    Here is My Choice Team for the Next couple of Matches....

    1) Devid Obuya. 2) Thomas Odoyo ( In ODI for hitting in first 15 Overs ) 3) Rakeb Patel. 4) Stiv Tikolo. 5) Alex Obanda. 6) Moric Uma. 7) Colins Obuya. 8) Jimmy Kamande. 9) N Odhiambo. 10) H Variya. 11) Piter Ongondo.

    Give More Over to bal to Jimmy Kamande & Collin Obuya.

    Please Back Tanmay Mishra To the Team... Also give more chance to Seren Watters And Ragheb Aaga.

  • Walter Trenk on March 4, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    I agree entirely with Coin Macbeth's idea of a Logan Cup type of fixture/tournament because this would raise the standards in the whole region.The buttons of the young mushrooms are showing especially in Kenya and we do hope that Kenya will built on their recent successes. The team is young so there is a lot of room for improvement.We may also try to involve the other provinces in order for the game to grow at the grassroots.

  • samad parkar on March 4, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Congratulations to the Kenyan team on their victory against Holland.I Still think we are a couple of Batsman short in the middle order & a good opening bowler is also required in the mould of Martin suji.To Win without Stevi & Thomas bust give all the other players a boost & much needed Confidence. Four day cricket is must for the progression of Cricket in Kenya.Good luck to the team & C.K.

  • Dipesh vaya on March 3, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    congrulations kenya on playing quality cricket this is where you belong keep on the great form boys and well for thrashing for thrashing the nethlands countinue playing this way and make us proud one day

  • Amar Mendes on March 3, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    Colin The fixture can be baptized pertaining to “Lake Victoria" Something like {VICTORIA SUPER SERIES} as all three nations share the lake, and someday Tanzanian can join.

  • Mital on March 3, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    As long as politicians keep out of cricket, and the managing committees don't aim to mint money and loot, things should improve! If Cricket Kenya wants the game to thrive, they can make it happen by starting right from the grassroots. If there's potential & results, sponsors will be happy to support the team.

  • edwin njoka on March 3, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    GO KENYA GO . AS FANS WE HAVE HIGH HOPE FOR YOU

  • Colin Macbeth on March 2, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Yes, Amar, it's me! I'm glad that you support the Logan Cup XI v 'Elgon' Cup XI idea. Others do too. Incidentally the real Logan Cup is a rugby fixture between Kenya and Uganda. We would have to think of another name.

  • Hussein Ali on March 2, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    It is indeed happy time for the Kenyan Cricket Team who has given the fans something to smile after a long time.But the work ahead is long and hard we need to look at the performance of the team and see how it can be improved with the ICC Leauge in June .Firstly the bowlers need to improve and aim at getting wickets Varaiya once a wicket taker seems to have lost his touch and also the medium pacers need to sharpen up and we need desparately a genuine fast bowler who can also swing the ball.Batting needs stability and Obanda and Ouma need to play longer and form a nucleus for other players to bat along .Since the team is very young Fielding should not be a problem and the coach should put intensive training for this.Lastly lets build on this and organize more matches for the Team and invite more players to the team and organize some high level competions locally to boost the game.In the meantime congratulations to the team and officials well done guys keep it up

  • Ricardo Johnson on March 2, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    excellent news. lets hope these ideas and plans for a longer 3/4 day programme come to light and don't remain as a discussion or after thought.

  • Zoeb Tayebjee on March 2, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    Nice piece Colin. First of all, as far as I remember, Kenya's chase of a mammoth total against the Dutch team was best. It was bold, thanks to the fiery start by openers Rakeb Patel and David Obuya. Obuya must thank his stars for getting this rare opportunity to open in absence of an overseas-based player. He proved beyond doubt his capability, so did Rakeb Patel. The chase and eventual unlikely win was even more commendable given that Steve Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo were absent. Kenya never built on the success of 2003 World Cup semi finals, but I do hope, the great win against Dutch will be used as a launching pad for development. It is a pity that this international fixture had more players then spectators at Gymkahana. Finally what plans have CK for improving facilities at other venues, now restricted, due to downsizing of Premier and Simba grounds? For the moement I do not think two international mtches could be held in Nairobi at any given time.

    Zoeb Tayebjee

  • Amar Mendes on March 1, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    Colin McBeth have you written the above? Logan Cup XI v an 'Elgon' Cup is a brilant idea

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  • Amar Mendes on March 1, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    Colin McBeth have you written the above? Logan Cup XI v an 'Elgon' Cup is a brilant idea

  • Zoeb Tayebjee on March 2, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    Nice piece Colin. First of all, as far as I remember, Kenya's chase of a mammoth total against the Dutch team was best. It was bold, thanks to the fiery start by openers Rakeb Patel and David Obuya. Obuya must thank his stars for getting this rare opportunity to open in absence of an overseas-based player. He proved beyond doubt his capability, so did Rakeb Patel. The chase and eventual unlikely win was even more commendable given that Steve Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo were absent. Kenya never built on the success of 2003 World Cup semi finals, but I do hope, the great win against Dutch will be used as a launching pad for development. It is a pity that this international fixture had more players then spectators at Gymkahana. Finally what plans have CK for improving facilities at other venues, now restricted, due to downsizing of Premier and Simba grounds? For the moement I do not think two international mtches could be held in Nairobi at any given time.

    Zoeb Tayebjee

  • Ricardo Johnson on March 2, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    excellent news. lets hope these ideas and plans for a longer 3/4 day programme come to light and don't remain as a discussion or after thought.

  • Hussein Ali on March 2, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    It is indeed happy time for the Kenyan Cricket Team who has given the fans something to smile after a long time.But the work ahead is long and hard we need to look at the performance of the team and see how it can be improved with the ICC Leauge in June .Firstly the bowlers need to improve and aim at getting wickets Varaiya once a wicket taker seems to have lost his touch and also the medium pacers need to sharpen up and we need desparately a genuine fast bowler who can also swing the ball.Batting needs stability and Obanda and Ouma need to play longer and form a nucleus for other players to bat along .Since the team is very young Fielding should not be a problem and the coach should put intensive training for this.Lastly lets build on this and organize more matches for the Team and invite more players to the team and organize some high level competions locally to boost the game.In the meantime congratulations to the team and officials well done guys keep it up

  • Colin Macbeth on March 2, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Yes, Amar, it's me! I'm glad that you support the Logan Cup XI v 'Elgon' Cup XI idea. Others do too. Incidentally the real Logan Cup is a rugby fixture between Kenya and Uganda. We would have to think of another name.

  • edwin njoka on March 3, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    GO KENYA GO . AS FANS WE HAVE HIGH HOPE FOR YOU

  • Mital on March 3, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    As long as politicians keep out of cricket, and the managing committees don't aim to mint money and loot, things should improve! If Cricket Kenya wants the game to thrive, they can make it happen by starting right from the grassroots. If there's potential & results, sponsors will be happy to support the team.

  • Amar Mendes on March 3, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    Colin The fixture can be baptized pertaining to “Lake Victoria" Something like {VICTORIA SUPER SERIES} as all three nations share the lake, and someday Tanzanian can join.

  • Dipesh vaya on March 3, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    congrulations kenya on playing quality cricket this is where you belong keep on the great form boys and well for thrashing for thrashing the nethlands countinue playing this way and make us proud one day

  • samad parkar on March 4, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Congratulations to the Kenyan team on their victory against Holland.I Still think we are a couple of Batsman short in the middle order & a good opening bowler is also required in the mould of Martin suji.To Win without Stevi & Thomas bust give all the other players a boost & much needed Confidence. Four day cricket is must for the progression of Cricket in Kenya.Good luck to the team & C.K.