World Cup, 2007 March 4, 2007

Hosts buoyant ahead of Kenya clash

Cricinfo staff

Roger Harper samples the champagne after Kenya won the World Cricket League last month © Will Luke

Tony Howard, the West Indies manager, has spoken boldly of his side's chances in the World Cup ahead of their warm-up match against Kenya on Monday.

"We have some quite detailed plans for the tournament and we plan to come hard," he said. "We will think hard and play hard. We are in it to win it. We want it all. We want to win in front our home supporters. We are prepared to beat the best no matter what. We have no real doubts about our ability at this stage."

Few can forget Kenya's remarkable win in the 1996 World Cup when they skittled the West Indies for just 93, recording their first one-day win. A decade on, Roger Harper - who made 17 batting at No.7 in that humbling match - is Kenya's coach and remains cautiously optimistic over their chances.

"Kenya is supposed to be the top associate country as far as cricket is concerned," he said. "But it doesn't mean anything unless you show it on the field and we have demonstrated this. I think winning the World Cricket League (WCL) meant a lot to this team, for Kenya as a whole, and we hope to do the same in the World Cup."

Kenya, buoyant after their impressive win in Nairobi three weeks ago, are also very familiar with Caribbean conditions. Three years ago, they were the invited overseas team for the West Indies domestic first-class championship, though they failed to win any of their seven matches.