Striking players withdraw from squad
The 14, which includes Steve Tikolo, the former captain, have been on strike after falling out with the Kenyan Cricket Association over backpay and contractual issues. It had been hoped that the recent decision by the government to suspend the KCA had cleared the way to end the dispute, but today's news indicates otherwise.
However, the continuing stand-off could be a temporary obstacle. The KCA executive, with which the players are at loggerheads, have retained control for a short period after going to court to ask for a review of the minister's decision. If, as many predict, the application to have the government's move overturned is dismissed, then the new Normalisation Committee is more likely to be able to reach agreement with the strikers.
Yesterday, the KCA named a 31-man squad for the match, but this has now been trimmed to 17 following today's news. "As it stands, the KCA still has things it has to sort out like the allowances which they were supposed to have cleared by January 20 which they have not done," said Tikolo. "And they haven't even explained why." The explanation might be straightforward. The KCA is reported to be almost bankrupt.
Tikolo also revealed that he will be playing in England from April, "For the time being I will play for Swamibapa in the league but come April I will be going to England for a stint with a club in the northern Lancashire league," he said. Cricinfo can confirm that Tikolo will join Haverigg, a small club on the west coast of Cumbria, on a one-year contract. Haverigg play in the Daniel Thwaites North Lancashire & Cumbria League Premier Division.