Kenyan cricket April 17, 2009

Tikolo to bow out before 2011 World Cup

Cricinfo staff

Kenya captain Steve Tikolo, who has played in four World Cups, has said he will not play in the 2011 World Cup. In Tikolo Kenya had a batsman of genuine class at the top of the order with a wide range of strokes and the void will be a massive one to fill when the side meets bigger teams in two years.

"My legs are going now and I'm getting a little too slow. I think it's time to let the youngsters come through," said Tikolo after Kenya's win over Ireland in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. "I will probably play until the end of this season but I will not be around for the next World Cup. There is plenty of young talent coming through in Kenya so I think the time is right for me to step away."

Kenya's latest win, on the back of an embarrassing loss to Namibia earlier this week, has ensured them a place in the next World Cup. Kenya have been a fixture in World Cups since 1996 and came in to the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa confident of securing a 2011 berth with a top-four finish.

"I am very happy we qualified - that was our main goal coming here so that is good enough for me," said Tikolo. "I think we outplayed Ireland today. The guys came to the ground today very determined and we wanted it badly so that was encouraging, especially considering our poor performance against Namibia two days ago."

Tikolo, 37, has been the mainstay of the Kenyan team for near 15 years. Kenya first hit the headlines, beating West Indies in Pune in the 1996 World Cup. They had an impressive run in 2003 in South Africa, reaching the semi-finals after beating Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Tikolo, with 3168 runs at an average of 31.05 in 116 ODIs, has been at the heart of Kenya's challenge to stay within touching distance of the Test nations.

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  • 560162 on April 20, 2009, 5:34 GMT

    Kenya should not expect miracles from perhaps the best all-rounder the country has produced. At this age, his decision to retire is right. Steve, a match winner and pillar of Kenya Cricket for many years, should be accorded a warm send-off rather than harping about his re-call. The legend, I hope, will take up some important position in the administration of the sport that he loved so much. Well done Steve, you made Kenya proud. Zoeb Tayebjee.

  • vishosharma on April 19, 2009, 17:44 GMT

    Steve Tikolo must not consider himself too old at 39 (which is what he will be in 2011). About the same age as Jaisurya and Tendulkar, he must note that those two legends are again playing as well as ever! Steve is badly needed by Kenya; he can put in the effort to stay fit -- work on those legs! W.G. Grace and Jack Hobbs -- just to mention two giants of yore -- have left behind records of scoring centuries in their late middle age.

    Dr. Visho Sharma Ex-Nairobi Cricketer

  • jazzytoon on April 19, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    he is one of the kenya best player and he has showed over number of years. Good journey mate.

  • jkplatinum25 on April 18, 2009, 19:11 GMT

    great player...all the best for the future

  • bassanga on April 18, 2009, 7:19 GMT

    Steve has been an inspiration to all the boys in Kenya and around the Globe. To me his been the his been a good ambassador for the country and a gem of a person.

    Always smiling and educating the young ones, taking up voluntary assingments when called upon for. I will personally miss him as first a brother and than a player.

    Steve we all know that time do come to step down but I know u still have the last kick for the 2011 WC. I know you can still carry the National Flag for the last time.

    I can only wish you the best in your future endeavour but surely i will me u.

  • Lennon_Marx on April 18, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    Arguably the greatest Associate player to have played the game, he will create a huge void in the team, which Kenya- a nation which appears to be on a bit of a backward slide in recent years- will have trouble filling. It will be interesting to see whether Kenya slide further back to the pack of Associates as time goes one. I think though that Tikolo in spite of his talent and class, is a major reason why cricket has struggled to build a major force outside of the traditional bases of the game. If he had been given the opportunity to play regularly in 1st class competitions, as a guest player in an established nation, he really could have built an even stronger career. It would be enormously beneficial to world cricket if the major first class competitions bought in a rule that required states/teams to have in their squad at least one (maybe two) players from associate nations- I believe it would really help bring players up to international standard, and help the game back home alot

  • cricket2011 on April 18, 2009, 3:51 GMT

    To me he is the greatest player from Kenya. If I select a best 11 team from Africa two people from Kenya, 1 Tikolo 2 Tomas Odoyo.

    But Tikolo is the great player. I expect he can play 2011 World cup. No need of retirement Now.

    Todays Kenyan team is not a strong team like 2003 World cup Kenyan Team. Team need a Key player like Tikolo, so no need of retirement.

  • Matt.J13 on April 18, 2009, 0:48 GMT

    It'll be sad to see him go. He has been a great batsman for Kenya. I wish him the best in his remaining games and the best for the future.

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