Intercontinental Cup 2007-08 January 18, 2008

Otieno back but Mishra still absent

Kenya selectors will sit down at the weekend to pick their side for the forthcoming Intercontinental Cup matches against UAE and Namibia. The matches have been moved to Abu Dhabi against a backdrop of escalating violence in Kenya.

The squad training sessions ahead of the matches at the end of the month have been disrupted by a return of the violent scenes that followed December's disputed presidential elections.

Local media had reported that Tanmay Mishra, the precocious young batsman who had supposedly left Kenya to enroll at an Indian university last year, had returned and was available. However, Cricinfo has learned that he never left the country and has remained while he decides what his future holds. A board official told Cricnfo: "We did contact him, and his father, regarding his availability, but he had not reported for training as of yesterday so will not be considered for the games."

But Kennedy Otieno, who retired from the game after being omitted from Kenya's World Cup squad, is back in the frame after returning from his playing/coaching role in Australia. "Despite past incidents, we have never closed the door on any player, Kennedy included, if they are prepared to commit themselves, unconditionally and totally to representing the country," the board official said.

"Having established that commitment, selection is then obviously dependent upon whether that individual is then among the best 14 available based on their current form, and the needs and balance of the side. Kennedy, therefore, was welcomed back to squad training and is in the frame for final selection."

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo