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Five players turn down Kenya contracts

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 21, 2011

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Alex Obanda made just 6, Kenya v New Zealand, Group A, World Cup 2011, Chennai, February 20, 2011
Alex Obanda is among the five Kenya players who have turned down contracts offered by their board © AFP
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Five Kenyan cricketers have turned down contracts offered by their board on grounds of insufficient compensation. Cricket Kenya had offered new national contracts to 13 cricketers; seven have accepted them. They are: captain Collins Obuya, Seren Waters, Hiren Varaiya, Rakep Patel, Runesh Gudka, Lucas Ouloch and Ragheb Aga. Alex Obanda, Shem Ngoche, James Ngoche, Nehemiah Odhiambo and Elijah Otieno turned down the contracts and the board promptly withdrew them.

Tanmay Mishra, the Mumbai-born Kenya batsman, will be available for national duty, though he's chosen to play domestic cricket in India this season. Kenya Cricket's chief executive Tom Sears said: "We are very pleased with the group of players who have committed to Cricket Kenya but obviously disappointed that some players chose not to sign their new contracts.

"Every player received an offer amounting to a basic increase to their monthly retainer of at least 10% and the opportunity to improve that figure significantly through consistent high performance. They were also offered guaranteed match fees for domestic cricket for the first time which would significantly increase their earnings. The fact that they have declined these improved offers calls into question some of the advice they have been receiving but that is a matter for the players themselves.

"Having met with all the players on several occasions and heard what they and their advisors have said, we made repeated offers during the last month to meet with the players individually to discuss their contract offers but some declined to do that, either through their own choice or by instruction from their advisors - if we are not told what the players' issues are it is impossible for us to deal with them. Cricket Kenya can only wait for so long for players to commit and the time has come for us to move on and look at other players who are seeking the opportunity to show what they can do at international level."

Several senior cricketers, including World Cup captain Jimmy Kamande and Thomas Odoyo, were not offered contracts this year in a move to look to the future. The contracts run for 12 months and offer improved salaries and match fees. It remains to be seen if the refusal from the five cricketers puts their availability in doubt. Kenya take on UAE in two limited-overs games next week, followed by a four-day Intercontinental Cup fixture in Nairobi.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by CricketChat on (July 23, 2011, 22:23 GMT)

Good for Kenyan cricket. No more indiscipline. It may hurt in short term losing good players, but will benefit them in the long run. It is about time Kenya showed up in int. cricket. So much time, money, coaching was spent on making them competitive.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2011, 21:36 GMT)

It looks like Tom Sears is trying to put to bed the lamentable practice of Kenyan squads holding their board to ransom, and I hope he succeeds. The ghost of Maurice Odumbe needs to be driven out of the squad before anything can move forward, and now is a good time to draw a line in the sand. I hope Alex Obanda comes round eventually as he has the makings of a class player, but the others will be replaced fairly easily and the majority of the most talented (Waters, Varaiya, Mishra) are still on board.

Posted by hoodbu on (July 23, 2011, 16:57 GMT)

Do they make more money than Afghani players? Curious to know. At least Afghanistan players play like a team and perform.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2011, 18:27 GMT)

Folks, stop confusing performance with compensation. They are not necessarily related (though beyond a level of compensation, they are - that's called "bonus"). Compensation is based on the market for Kenyan cricket. If that is high, the board has no business underpaying the players.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2011, 18:19 GMT)

@Yorkslanka:Most have them are playing South African Leages and some like odoyo also play in county leagues.I think that will be good enough for them than the Kenyan Contract

Posted by haha1 on (July 21, 2011, 17:25 GMT)

WHAT A MESS, The CEO may need to come up with other ideas.........

Posted by mandi on (July 21, 2011, 15:57 GMT)

who is players advisers?players demanding too much i guess.

Posted by yorkslanka on (July 21, 2011, 15:23 GMT)

with all due respect, will they get to play cricket anywhere else?Its not like gayle etc where they will be picked up by other competitions/counties etc?

Posted by Anil_Koshy on (July 21, 2011, 14:56 GMT)

Really sad to see cricket suffering, Kenyan players does not deserve any contract or highest compensation because they have been playing very poor cricket consistently, it seems they value money more than playing for the country.

Posted by D-Train on (July 21, 2011, 10:09 GMT)

No doubt there's two sides to this story. Will be interesting to hear the other side.

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