<
>

Karim hopeful of Kenya's resurgence

Irfan Karim struck a 26-ball 46 ICC/Donald MacLeod

Irfan Karim - the son of former Kenya captain Asif Karim - starred in his campus team, Loughborough Marylebone Cricket Club University's, seven-wicket win against European University of Bangladesh in the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Kenya batsman struck an optimistic note about the future of cricket in Kenya, despite his team's poor showing in the World T20 qualifiers, where they are currently placed joint-fourth with Oman, in Group B, behind Scotland, Netherlands and Afghanistan.

"Teams like Kenya, Ireland and Afghanistan have shown that they can reach that level," Karim said.

"Associate cricket has done well in the World Cups, and upsets therein are a case in point. We just need to have the right structure in place and a good pool of players. There's no reason why we can't succeed."

His quick fire 48-ball 71, on Tuesday, helped LMCC emerge as strong title contenders in the Campus Cricket tournament currently being played in Dehradun.

His performance isn't a one-off, as he has performed impressively in the ODI format, for his national team in his short career, as well.

He currently has 396 runs at an average of 44 in his short career. His statistics in T20's are less impressive, his seven T20's yielding just 47 runs.

"I enjoy playing on the international stage. My passion for the game came from my father. I saw him play for Kenya from a young age and that's how I got into it as a kid. It has stayed with me ever since and I am really enjoying pursuing cricket. Of course, my dad, for he inspired me to play cricket. I was always playing with him around me. "

"I want to play at a higher level in England, particularly county cricket. That is why I am playing club cricket there as well. They have many opportunities, some good facilities and good coaching. They are very professional in their set up."

Asif Karim, unlike his son, was more judicious of his assessment of cricket in Kenya.

"Kenya cricket is dead. It is dead and buried. Your intent can be good but if you're not competent to do something, it doesn't happen. We've had an incompetent administration for the last ten years. The results are clear. Where is the cricket now? My prediction is that from being an Associate team having ODI status we will become an Affiliate," he told Tim Wigmore in September last year.

"We've had an incompetent administration for the last ten years. The results are clear. Where is the cricket now?" he asserted.