Peter Ongondo joins Kenya coaching staff
Peter Ongondo, former Kenya seamer, has joined the country's coaching staff. Ongondo will be based in Nakuru in Kenya's Rift Valley Province and his main task will be to unearth new talent.
"He will play a leading role in identifying young players with the potential to play at a higher level," Tom Sears, Cricket Kenya chief executive said. "And to ensure they fulfill that potential through specialist coaching programmes and regular competition. Peter's appointment is part of our continued commitment to utilise the experience and knowledge of former players who demonstrate the ambition and qualities we are looking for and we expect to expand our coaching staff further in the coming months."
Ongondo played 79 ODIs for Kenya between 1999 and 2011, with his most notable performances coming at the 2007 World Cricket League, where he ended as the leading wicket-taker. Ongondo still plays for his franchise the Rift Valley Rhinos and is also an elite level coach.
He forms part of Kenya's renewed effort to develop new players, a policy which was emphasised in the in the aftermath of a structural overhaul at the end of the 2011 World Cup. After a dismal showing, some senior players including former captain Jimmy Kamande did not have their contracts renewed and a new coach, Mike Hesson, was appointed in place of Eldine Baptiste.
The new structure needs a steady supply of new players and Kenya are working on ways to find and groom them. "Our development programme across the country is all about creating opportunities for youngsters to play and ensuring they have a structure that allows them to compete and progress all the way through to our national teams," Sears said.
This year is an important one for Kenya cricket. They will participate in the World T20 qualifiers in Dubai in March where 16 teams will vie for two places at the marquee event in Sri Lanka in September. They are also scheduled to play Ireland in an Intercontinental Cup match from February12 in Mombasa. The tour consists of a four-day match, two fifty-over contests and three Twenty20 Internationals.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent