Cricket Kenya launches elite league
Despite the civil unrest inside Kenya following the disputed presidential elections in December, Cricket Kenya has announced that its Elite Cricket League will begin this weekend.
The league, which is sponsored by Sahara Computers and also underwritten by the African Cricket Association, will feature the best 60 players from across the country. They will be divided between four sides - Northern Nomads, Southern Stars, Western Chiefs and Eastern Aces - to ensure that the teams are as evenly balanced as possible. Each of the squads will contain four nationally-contracted players.
There will be three separate competitions - Twenty20, 50-over and three-day matches - and the intention is to provide a platform for emerging talent to stake a claim for inclusion in national sides. It has long been a criticism that the two major leagues in Nairobi and Mombasa are not of a high enough standard, which this initiative is intended to address.
The Twenty20 matches start this Saturday and conclude with a double header the following weekend, all games being played at Nairobi Gymkhana. The one-day tournament will be held on three Saturdays from March 1, and the three-day games start on March 26, April 2 and April 10.