August 29, 2011

Kenya

Kenya's cricketers on the road to nowhere

Cricinfo


Colin MacBeth

The idiocy of some Kenyan cricketers knows no bounds. Having driven brinkmanship to a new dimension when they refused to toe the line and sign contracts, they crawled back to Cricket Kenya (CK) caps in hand seeking preferment; and when offered a deal they could easily have accepted, spat it back in the face of those offering it. This, they said, was an act of solidarity with certain 'spent' players who are past their sell-by date and could no longer be considered for contracts.

More significantly, the players' action – and the consequent sacking of several, especially from Kongonis (Nairobi Club) and Rift Valley Rhinos (Rift Valley Sports Club), who refused to play ball with CK, is devoid of reason and could seriously jeopardise the ongoing 'Elite' Premier and EA Cup competitions.

The cry will go up: “This isn't cricket”; but indeed it is, and increasingly so these days. The commercialisation of the sport has become very much part of the fabric, with salaries and conditions taking priority over sporting achievement. And none is suffering more than Nairobi Buffaloes' (NPCA) captain Collins Obuya, who,played for Uganda's Tornados last year and was the only player who came back from his country's disastrous 2011 World Cup campaign in India and Bangladesh with his reputation intact and his head held high; and is now reportedly in receipt of death threats because of his willingness to side with CK's strategy to improve the game.

A belligerent CK chairman Sameer Inamdar said at the weekend in his usual no-nonsense way: “The players mustn't be allowed to get away with blackmail. We've bent over backwards to accommodate them in the wake of some really appalling performances. And they think we should just say 'okay' and lap the mediocrity up. Well, we're not doing so anymore, and some of the players have surely scripted their own obituaries.”

The players themselves remain somewhat bemused and unsure which way to turn. But without doubt it's the end of the road for some; and any depletion of the new elite EAPL and EA Cup's reputation as the driving force behind a resurgence in Kenya cricket would be disastrous, both for them and for cricket in Uganda, and would have to be laid at their door.

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Posted by halpesh patel on (September 3, 2011, 17:44 GMT)

I agree with colin's article. having just come back from kenya and being very good friends with collins obuya.I met a few of these so called revolting players and their demands are absolutely rubbish in what they are asking for, A contract based on lack of perfomance and more money just so that they can live a more lavish life. They discrimate alot against the indian community that play hard cricket for nearly free and do not ask for a contract. this is by far the best decision CK has taken as it will help spur growth now. Coach is fantastic and so are the selectors. Its a shame Collins will not get a full side.

Posted by Bernhard on (September 1, 2011, 3:20 GMT)

I read all of the Kenya articles on Cricinfo with great interest. And I too was very disappointed with their performance at the World Cup. On the surface of it, I agree with what CK have done. But come on Cricinfo, any chance of tracking down one of these refusing players and asking them for comment? Actually getting a comment from the horses mouth? I mean, you don't have to agree with it but you should still report it. Don't get me wrong - I'd be ashamed if I was a Kenyan cricketer over the past few years. But what chance of hearing what their actual concerns are?

EDITORIAL RESPONSE - Most of them won't speak to us. Several point blank refused to speak to us during the World Cup, for example, because they objected to our coverage of Kenyan cricket as a whole

Posted by Subham A. Patel on (August 31, 2011, 15:57 GMT)

Good to have a person with future visions. What CK boss is doing is correct, it should be this way (NO PERFORMANCE NO REWARDS). Good work CK Boss.

Posted by on the bench on (August 31, 2011, 15:19 GMT)

Enough is enough of this madness. We have had enough of it and its time CK stuck with their word and do what is right for Kenyan Cricket. For your information all this player that have refused to sign have never and i stand to be corrected won a match for Kenya and i don't think if they will do it anytime soon. They failed to win matches for their teams in the EAPL and yet we think they can do it for the national team?......no they are joking and its better CK looks somewhere. If anything happens to Collins Obuya...we will know the first suspects so let them do it and it will be the last time they will see cricket. Collins you have proved that hard work pays and please don't be cowed. You are true human being.

Posted by Sam on (August 30, 2011, 12:22 GMT)

lets not think and kick this players with big heads. as it is they dint to anything for kenya in the world cup so on what ground are they demanding? kick them out

Posted by engang190 on (August 30, 2011, 11:47 GMT)

CK should have cut these clowns loose months ago.Even naming them in the East Africa squads was poor judgement on their part.

Posted by Zoeb Tayebjee on (August 30, 2011, 5:32 GMT)

In the past 20 years successive cricket associations have succumbed to blackmails. CK too. I hope this time CK boss Mr. Inamdar will stick to his words. Good piece, Colin. Haven't seen you for ages.

Zoeb Tayebjee

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