'He would be an asset to Kenya cricket' November 2, 2007

Odumbe ban could be lifted

Cricinfo staff

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Odumbe could make his comeback before his five-year suspension has been served © AFP

Maurice Odumbe, the former Kenya captain who was banned from cricket for five year for his involvement with bookmakers, could return to the game before his five-year suspension has been served.

A report in The Standard said that Cassim Sulliman, the ICC Regional development manager and CEO of the Africa Cricket Association, had indicated that Odumbe could be allowed to resume his career if Cricket Kenya (CK) appeals to the ICC.

"I have watched Odumbe play and I think he would be an asset to Kenya cricket when he returns to action," Sulliman told the newspaper. "The best way Cricket Kenya could handle this issue is by compiling all details of the ban and writing a letter to ICC asking for leniency on the player who has already served two thirds of his ban. ICC may decide to reduce the sentence if the local body needs the player."

Tom Tikolo, CK's chief executive, said they were willing to help but they needed an approach from the player. "We cannot just write to ICC asking them for leniency over Odumbe's ban when we don't know the details of the issue," he said. "Let Odumbe meet [the] CK board and present us with the details."

Odumbe, 38, told the newspaper that while he was willing to do what the board suggested, but he was critical that it had not acted before now. "I think they should have at least taken some action earlier since the information of my ban is available with ICC and in the internet."

Odumbe was banned in 2004 after a hearing in Nairobi and an appeal by him in 2006 was unsuccessful.

What is not so clear is under what authority Sulliman made his comments. Last month he told officials in Uganda that he was working on getting three more countries ODI status within 180 days. The ICC subsequently denied any such plans existed.