Kenya bank on Rhodes' support

Jonty Rhodes was also in attendance Associated Press

Kenya batsman Collins Obuya has said the inclusion of Jonty Rhodes as part of the team's support staff for the 2011 World Cup has been a major boost for preparations ahead of the tournament. Rhodes was hired as Kenya's fielding coach and took charge during a three-week training camp in Pretoria in November last year.

"Jonty's had a good rub-on-effect on all of us," Obuya, who began his career as a legspinning allrounder and is now a frontline batsman, said at the team's press conference in Colombo. "He has infused confidence that we can just go out there and play."

Kenya have played every World Cup since 1996 and have pulled off a couple of surprises. They beat West Indies in the 1996 World Cup in Pune and qualified for the semi-final in 2003 with victories over Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in the lead-up to the knockout stage. Their squad includes two veterans who featured in the 1996 edition - Steve Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo - and is led by offspinning allrounder Jimmy Kamande.

"The 2003 semis spot was a dream for us," Kamande said. "We will take each game as it comes, and try to be consistent with bat, ball and fielding.

"We are looking at building our team over the next 10 years. For that we have to be consistent."

Kenya begin their World Cup campaign on February 20, taking on New Zealand in Chennai.