Cricket Kenya has taken a hard stand against a handful of players who have refused to sign new central contracts, dropping them from the national squad. The decision represents a new approach after years of seemingly endless disputes over play and conditions.
Alex Obanda, Shem Ngoche, James Ngoche, Nehemiah Odhiambo and Elijah Otieno, who had previously declined full contracts, were made renewed offers while Maurice Ouma, Nelson Odhiambo and Alfred Luseno also were also offered new agreements. Each was offered a three-month agreement with a provision entitling them to a full contract until May 2012 subject to a satisfactory performance review at the end of three months. This review was to take place in conjunction with the same review that all current nationally contracted players will be required to go through.
"It's a shame that yet again some of these players have turned down their contracts but that is their choice," said CK's chief executive Tom Sears. "We met with these players as we promised we would, we listened to their views and made them offers that reflected what they wanted - an agreement that would run until the end of the contract year in May 2012 if they met certain performance criteria which all players have to meet.
"For some reason they have rejected this so now we have to move on and look for players who do want to be involved. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect was that they refused to represent their teams in the East African Competitions last weekend pulling out at the very last minute.
"Their participation in these competitions has nothing to do with their contract negotiations. If they thought that this action would help their cause they were very misguided and it is likely that all the players will face disciplinary action from their teams for letting them down after committing to play.
"Again sadly it calls into question the professionalism of these players, how committed they are to putting in the effort, their application in fulfilling their potential and the advice they have been getting from their advisors."