Cricket Kenya poised to replace KCA February 14, 2005

Stakeholders to vote on new board

Kenya's major stakeholders will be asked to vote tomorrow night on whether to support plans to establish a new authority to run Kenyan cricket or to stick with the embattled Kenyan Cricket Association.

At the weekend Ochillo Ayacko, the minister for sports, summoned various parties, including representatives of the country's provincial associations, striking players and other leading officials, and announced his intention to form a new body - provisionally named Cricket Kenya (CA) - to bypass the KCA. Ayacko will present his application to have the new organisation ratified by the Registrar of Societies tomorrow morning.

The country's two largest bodies - the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association and the Coast Cricket Association - will both consult with members clubs in the evening over whether to back the new venture. Given that between them they represent almost all of Kenya's functioning clubs, their support will decide whether Ayacko's bold initiative gets the go ahead.

If it does, then it is likely that Ayacko will seek an urgent meeting later this week with Malcolm Speed and Ehsan Mani, the chief executive and president of the ICC, to try to get their backing and ICC recognition that CA should be confirmed as the real authority representing Kenyan cricket.

Although the ICC has repeatedly refused to be drawn into an increasingly messy business, it is widely rumoured that the minister's decision to finally act against the KCA received its tacit backing after investigations revealed the scale of the problem in the country.

Ayacko's move is thought to have caught the KCA executive off guard. Last Thursday, a scheduled court hearing was delayed in rather strange circumstances after the High Court judge who had summoned the warring parties to appear before him suddenly found he was too busy to hear the legal arguments and postponed the hearing until March 7.

The judge claimed that as he had read newspaper reports stating that the national squad was in training, there was no urgency in holding the hearing. However, the reports, which Cricinfo understands were not true, appeared in The Nation, a leading newspaper which has pro-KCA leanings and which critics have accused of being a virtual mouthpiece for Sharad Ghai, the KCA chairman.