Ghai accepts the inevitable
Sharad Ghai, the ousted Kenyan Cricket Association chairman, has said that he will not go to court to try to overturn the government's decision to dissolve the board and replace it with an interim committee. There had been reports that he was intending to take the matter to court, as he successfully did in 2002 when the government attempted a similar manoeuvre.
On Saturday, the embattled Ghai dismissed the government's action as being unconstitutional, and insisted that the board was still in charge. But less than 48 hours later, he said that he would respect the government's decision and hand over office to Ochillo Ayacko, the sports minister. "If you are out, you are out," he was quoted as saying in a local newspaper. "But this should have been done in a dignified manner."
One senior administrator said that the he believed Ghai had decided to accept the move because, unlike in 2002, he had almost no remaining support within Kenyan cricket. Nevertheless, he admitted that it came "as a big surprise to me as Ghai is a person who would never cave in".
On Sunday, police visited the offices of the KCA at Ruaraka and put locks on all the doors. Employees of the board were unable to gain access when they reported to work on Monday.
About the only voice to have spoken out in support of the old regime has been Joshua Okuthe, the chairman of the Kenya National Sports Council, but opponents have dismissed his involvement as being little more than cronyism.
It has also emerged that last week the KCA was refused permission to use Nairobi's Gymkhana ground, the country's one international-class venue, for the forthcoming visit of the Nertherlands. The move came after months of disputes between the Gymkhana Club and the KCA over non-payment of debts. The venue was only freed for use during last summer's A-team tournament after Ghai issued a personal cheque to pay for some of the arrears. The KCA has repeatedly refused to respond to request for arbitration, and one club official admitted: "I don't see how Gymkhana will recover their money, as I do not think there would be any left in the bank during the handover."
The KCA is reported to be in serious debt, and with no sponsors and its only income coming from the ICC, he might well be right.