Interim executive appointed to run cricket January 14, 2005

Kenyan government suspends board

Kenya's sports minister Ochillo Ayacko has acted to resolve the crisis © Cricinfo
Ochillo Ayacko, Kenya's minister of sports, has disbanded the Kenyan Cricket Association, claiming that it is blighted by mismanagement, and appointed an interim committee to run the game until a new constitution can be agreed. It is expected that this will be ready by April 15.

The KCA has been embroiled in a bitter fight with many of Kenyan cricket's stakeholders for the last couple of years, and it seems that Ayacko's patience with the existing board's conduct has finally snapped.

"The KCA purports to officially promote the sport of cricket and receives a lot of financial support," Ayacko said. "It has been doing so without an elected office since 1997 and cannot account for huge sums of monies."

Sammy Obingo, the KCA's general manager, is leading an ICC-prompted review of a constitution which has been at the root of many of the issues. But one source said that Ayacko's patience had run out and that he had decided that now was the time to act.

The news leaves Sharad Ghai, the KCA's embattled chairman, out in the cold, but few expect him to take the situation lying down. In May 2002 Francis Nyenze, Ayacko's predecessor, disbanded the KCA executive committee citing financial mismanagement, and replaced it with a caretaker committee. On that occasion the KCA went to court and got the decision overturned. It is more than likely that Ghai will consider similar action this time.

One thing Ghai might find especially unpalatable is that the interim committee includes Samir Imandir, the head of the Coast Cricket Association, and Salim Dhanji, who runs the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association. Both associations have been at loggerheads with the KCA, and the board's expulsion of the NPCA triggered the current crisis. Of the existing board, only Obingo is included in the interim executive. Tom Tikolo, a former national player and coach, is also included.

It has also emerged that three members of the KCA executive resigned over Christmas, leaving Ghai increasingly isolated.

"We have been waiting for seven years," said one delighted senior administrator of the developments. "This is the beginning of the end."

Obingo, who was appointed as the KCA's general manager in May, defended his inclusion on the committee. "The secretariat will continue to run," he told reporters. "I have contract, I am not in an elective office. So I am like a civil servant. If a government is overthrown, as a civil, servant, you do not run away."

Interim Committee Isaac Kalua (chairman, Kenyan National Sports Council), Sammy Obingo (KCA general manager) Salim Dhanji, Samir Inamdar, Tom Tikolo, Khoda Premji, Gopal Patel, Trilok Varia, Joshua Kiragu, Prof Saeed R Samnakay and Emmanuel Oduor.