January 29, 2013

Kenya

Kenya's Cricket Wars postponed again?

Martin Williamson

There is growing uncertainty over the planned Cricket Wars tournament due to take place this weekend (February 1 to 3) at Nairobi Gymkhana with organisers still unwilling to confirm which cricketers are taking part or how to buy tickets in advance.

ESPNcricinfo has been told by someone who paid for a concession at the ground that he has been told the event has been delayed until February 14-16 but this has not been confirmed. It was originally meant to have taken place in December but was postponed shortly beforehand.

The event has fallen foul of Cricket Kenya after organisers failed to respond to repeated requests for clarity over the financial arrangements. As a result, no players affiliated to the board - or any board overseas - will be allowed to take part.

On Tuesday morning, three days before the scheduled start, a message was posted on the official Facebook page which stated: "We are reading all your questions but are unable to give any answers as yet, Kindly be patient and we will reveal more information about Cricket Wars soon."

Less than a fortnight ago Jay Varia, one of the movers behind the tournament, boasted there would be "Kenyan and international cricketers" taking part, but with the board refusing to sanction the event it is unclear who will appear. While local club players could make up the numbers it seems highly unlikely any of the Kenyan national team, who have professional contracts with the board, will be allowed to participate.

Questions from ESPNcricinfo to the organisers were not answered.

There was at least more clarity on the non-cricketing talent lined up to take part with media website Tellychakkar.com reporting eight Indian TV names were due to head to Nairobi including Manav Gohil, Vrajesh Hirjee, Madhura Naik, Sehban Azim and Hassan Zaidi.

However, Gohil told the site "we will travel soon but the dates are still need to be worked out" while Naik admitted she had no idea how to play cricket, adding: "I am scared that I might fling the cricket bat thinking it to be a baseball."

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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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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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