March 1, 2010

Kenya

Cause for hope in Kenya

Martin Williamson

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

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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 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by edwin njoka on (March 3, 2010, 7:45 GMT)

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

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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

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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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