Lukewarm welcome awaits ICC investigators
The ICC-appointed team from the Africa Cricket Association is due to arrive in Nairobi on Friday to begin their investigations into the crisis which threatens the future of the game in Kenya. The four-man delegation is led by Peter Chingoka, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and president of the ACA, and will be assisted by Percy Sonn, the ICC's vice-president.
"We have been told that we will meet the delegation twice on Saturday," Sharad Ghai, the beleaguered chairman of the Kenyan Cricket Association told reporters. "We are ready to meet them and put our point across. We don't have many things to discuss with them."
While Cricket Kenya, the body formed by the government to replace the KCA which has the backing of players, clubs and supporters, has not formally reacted to the ICC's appointment of the ACA team, it is not thought to welcome the intervention.
One local administrator explained that the ICC had been kept closely informed of the situation, and was aware of the long-standing problems concerning the KCA. He added that there was nothing else for the ACA to uncover and the whole exercise had the feel of the ICC wanting to be seen to do something rather than actually taking more decisive action.
It is common knowledge that Jimmy Rayani, a former KCA chairman, has been trying to broker a deal which would enable some of the existing KCA officials to remain in office. But there is deep opposition within the cricketing community to a group that is seen as being responsible for the current parlous state of the game inside the country being allowed to retain any control. The feeling is that all the old guard needs to removed, and some senior officials within the ICC are known to share that view.
The ICC's decision to release US$54,000 to the KCA to enable it to meet its liabilities was also greeted with incredulity and anger. The KCA has no staff, no coaches and no players, and locals are bemused why the ICC decided to make the payment in the knowledge that it was unlikely to be used to promote the game but rather used to clear outstanding debts.