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January 30, 2013
News : Cricket Kenya refuses to sanction unauthorised event
The controversial Cricket Wars tournament which was due to take place this weekend at Nairobi Gymkhana has been postponed for a second time. While not an official event, the last-minute cancellation is another blow for the already tarnished image of Kenyan cricket which is widely seen as disorganised and ravaged by in-fighting.
Organisers, who have failed to respond to questions in recent days, broke the news on the tournament's Facebook page. "We are having to postpone it but we assure you that it is going to happen soon," a post on Wednesday morning said. "Thank you for all the support, we appreciate it."
The three-day competition was originally scheduled for early December and then, at short notice, moved to the first weekend of February. But organisers had fallen foul of Cricket Kenya after they failed to respond to repeated requests for clarity over the financial arrangements. As a result, no players affiliated to the board - or any board overseas - was given clearance to take part.
It was clear by Tuesday that there were problems. ESPNcricinfo was contacted by someone who had paid for a concession at the ground only the be advised the event had been delayed for at least a fortnight.
Earlier this month Jay Varia, one of the movers behind the tournament, boasted there would be "Kenyan and international cricketers" taking part, but with the board refusing to sanction the event it is unclear who will appear. While local club players could have made up the numbers it was highly unlikely any of the Kenyan national team, who have professional contracts with the board, would have been allowed to participate.
There was at least more clarity on the non-cricketing talent lined up to take part with media website Tellychakkar.com reporting eight Indian TV names were due to head to Nairobi including Manav Gohil, Vrajesh Hirjee, Madhura Naik, Sehban Azim and Hassan Zaidi.
However, Gohil told the site "we will travel soon but the dates are still need to be worked out" while Naik admitted she had no idea how to play cricket, adding: "I am scared that I might fling the cricket bat thinking it to be a baseball."
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
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