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June 21, 2005
Samir Inamdar, the new chairman of the Kenya Cricket Association, has ruled out restoring central contracts for leading players, explaining that the association does not have the finances to do so.
The main issue is that the KCA has no sponsor, and it has been advised by the Africa Cricket Association that it would be unwise to undertake the financial commitment of central contracts until one is found. The last official sponsor, Kenya Breweries, withdrew after the 2003 World Cup, and the internal wrangles which have dogged the KCA made attracting new investment almost impossible.
The previous board did have players on contracts, but as funds ran out, pay cuts were implemented, and last October most leading names went on strike, alleging that money owed to them had not been paid. Given the dire state of the accounts inherited by Inamdar and his new board, reimbursement for monies owed is unlikely.
"The new office has inherited heavy debts from the previous one" said Inamdar after meeting with the national team players last week. "If the players figures are to be believed the association owes them something to the tune of Shs 19,250,000 (US$ 250,000). We are also aware that KCA employees have not been paid for five months as well."
Inamdar and Tom Tikolo, the head of selectors, leave for London where they will meet with senior ICC officials later in the week. "We are going for a series of difficult meetings not only over funding but also over the one-day international status and the future of cricket in the country." Inamdar said. "We expect to be in the United Kingdom for seven to eight days."
But he had some good news. He explained that Kenya had been offered non-financial support by South Africa. "They have promised to provide us with coaches and accommodation when our boys go there to play. South Africa have also said they could look into the possibilities of contracting our boys to play local South African league cricket."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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