Kenya news September 6, 2011

Players who refused contracts shut out

ESPNcricinfo staff

The eight cricketers who refused contracts offered by Cricket Kenya now face a bleak future in the game after the board refused to meet with them, and then their local franchises unanimously decided not to pick them again this season.

ESPNcricinfo found out that while the group publicly objected to new-style contracts, they were also trying to force the board to reinstate several of those dumped after the shambolic World Cup earlier this year. They objected to the new deals which partially depended on their on-field performances, and when it became clear the board would not back down, they changed their demands to that of wanting more pay.

But while in the past such tactics usually resulted in a climb-down by the board, this time the nine were outflanked. When the players refused to meet with board officials last weekend and then staged a last-minute boycott of the national league matches, the board offered contracts to up-and-coming players instead.

Faced with that, it seems the players subsequently offered to meet with the board, but that was declined.

"We decided that there wasn't any point in meeting the players," a board official told ESPNcricinfo. "The franchise teams have unanimously decided to suspend the players for the rest of the new competitions for this year which will deprive them of earnings and, as the national squad will be picked on the basis of performances in these events, it will be a difficult few months for these players as a result of their actions."

The hard-line stand will be welcomed by those who have felt the players have had too much power for several years, although the local media, who have backed them almost unquestioningly, are unlikely to be as supportive.

The eight are Alex Obanda, Shem Ngoche, James Ngoche, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Maurice Ouma, Nelson Odhiambo, Alfred Luseno

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 8, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    Most of these players will be replaced readily enough. I think Alex Obanda and James Ngoche are real talents and hope they're able to patch things up with the board within 12 months or so.

  • Andrew on September 7, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    These things are never good for the game of cricket. Kenya really have rotted on the vine for the last 8 yrs.

  • Steve on September 6, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    The players need to realize they need to discuss their grievances with the board behind closed doors via a representative body. In addition, their timing is also very bad. You don't challenge the board when your performance on the field was terrible!. May be someone is misguiding them. Feel sorry for them since I think some of these players are young and promising and can serve Kenya's cricket for many yrs.

  • Dummy4 on September 6, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Some one has to show leadership the cricketers cant have it all their way.

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