September 6, 2011

Kenya

Kenya's rebel players shut out

Cricinfo

The eight cricketers who refused contracts offered by Cricket Kenya now face a bleak future in the game after the board refused to meet with them, and then their local franchises unanimously decided not to pick them again this season.

ESPNcricinfo found out that while the group publicly objected to new-style contracts, they were also trying to force the board to reinstate several of those dumped after the shambolic World Cup earlier this year. They objected to the new deals which partially depended on their on-field performances, and when it became clear the board would not back down, they changed their demands to that of wanting more pay.

But while in the past such tactics usually resulted in a climb-down by the board, this time the nine were outflanked. When the players refused to meet with board officials last weekend and then staged a last-minute boycott of the national league matches, the board offered contracts to up-and-coming players instead.

Faced with that, it seems the players subsequently offered to meet with the board, but that was declined.

“We decided that there wasn’t any point in meeting the players,” a board official told ESPNcricinfo. “The franchise teams have unanimously decided to suspend the players for the rest of the new competitions for this year which will deprive them of earnings and, as the national squad will be picked on the basis of performances in these events, it will be a difficult few months for these players as a result of their actions.”

The hard-line stand will be welcomed by those who have felt the players have had too much power for several years, although the local media, who have backed them almost unquestioningly, are unlikely to be as supportive.

The eight are Alex Obanda, Shem Ngoche, James Ngoche, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Maurice Ouma, Nelson Odhiambo, Alfred Luseno

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