England v Kenya, Group C, St Kitts March 25, 2007

Tikolo pleads for more matches

AFP
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'I'm looking at the team goal and that's more important than personal landmarks' - Tikolo © Getty Images

Steve Tikolo, the Kenyan captain, says it is absolutely vital his side plays more major international matches if they are to progress as a cricket nation.

"We need more games. I've been saying this since time immemorial," Tikolo said. "You can't come here without playing at this level consistently. If you look at our calendar now we have the Twenty20 World Cup [in South Africa] in September. But between now and September there's nothing for us. You can't compete like that."

Kenya were knocked out of the World Cup with a seven-wicket loss against England.

Tikolo said the Test nations had to make room in their own schedules, drawn up in response to the International Cricket Council's ten-year plan, if the likes of Kenya were to improve their standards. "I think our board has been talking to the ICC but the excuse we always get is that the Test countries are busy with their ten-year calendar. But if you want the other countries to come up you need to give them more games."

Tikolo, asked if he would play in a fifth World Cup in 2011 when the tournament will be staged in the subcontinent, said: "That's a tough one. We'll see how my body goes. But I still want to play for Kenya for the next few years and see this team grow into a good unit."

He insisted he took little personal satisfaction from his innings of 76 against England, his 20th half-century in 94 one-day internationals. "I would have been happy if the team had done well. I'm looking at the team goal and that's more important than personal landmarks."