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Kenya grateful for Zimbabwe opportunity

Kenyan officials have expressed their gratitude for being invited to participate in the Logan Cup, even though they ended their month-long tour of Zimbabwe without a win to their name.

Joseph Angara, the team's coach, said the Zimbabwean teams they played displayed a good standard of four-day cricket. "We are really grateful to Zimbabwe Cricket for having given us an opportunity. My boys learnt a lot from this tour particularly in our batting, they learnt that they be patient and build an innings. For the bowlers, it built their mental strength as most of them are not used to bowling long spells."

He said it was always going to be difficult to adjust to four-day cricket as most of the Kenyans players are used to the shorter version of the game.

On the general situation in Zimbabwe, Angara said they had wrong picture on the country before they arrived but they had a great time and the country is peaceful. He also acknowledged that cricket is Zimbabwe is way ahead of Kenya, despite the two countries having administrative problems over the last few years.

Collins Obuya, Kenya's captain who toured here in 2006, said the standards in Zimbabwe had gone down a bit, but the A-team team they played were really competitive.

Obuya said that his players struggled as they were given only two days' notice of the tour and had had to play their opening match less than 24 hours after arriving. "It was difficult for us to adapt to the conditions in Zimbabwe. We tried our best with a team of mostly youngsters who had never played four-day cricket before. We lacked consistency in our batting, we did not get good partnerships." He said personally the tour had taught him to be patient at the crease and also his captaincy was tested, and this could mould him into a future Kenya captain.

Obuya was disappointed that they did not win any matches, blaming the five-wicket loss to Zimbabwe A on the fact that Maurice Ouma missed the match because of illness.

He called upon Zimbabwe Cricket and Cricket Kenya to arrange more similar tours in future on a home-and-away basis.

Asked why Kenya's senior players had not taken part, Obuya said it was a matter of giving young and upcoming players a chance to play, although some of them had club contracts in England.

Tanmay Mishra, one of Kenya most promising youngsters, said they got good competition from the teams they played and that there were a lot of positives to be taken out of the tour. "We have not played more four-day cricket so we are not disappointed because we lost," he said. "The local teams used the conditions really well and I think if we are given another chance we will do well, because we now know the conditions. We learnt a lot from this tour, it made me a better player and I think Zimbabwe Cricket and Cricket Kenya should come up with more such tours to help raise standards in both countries."

Even though it was viewed as a developmental side, the Kenya Select squad contained nine players who represented the country at the World Cup in the Caribbean.