<
>

Windfall a massive boost for Kenya

Samir Inamdar, Cricket Kenya's chairman, has spoken of the difference that qualifying for the final of the World Cricket League will make to Kenyan cricket.

Both Kenya and Scotland, who meet on Wednesday, are set to receive US$250,000 from the ICC as their reward for finishing in the top two of the round-robin stage, as well as a place in September's inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa. That is the real reward, and while winning the final would be the icing on the cake, it is actually of only significance as far as local bragging rights are concerned.

Kenya has been strapped for cash for years, and Inamdar inherited debts of $500,000 from the old regime when his new board took over in May 2005. Since then, they have had to manage on their annual ICC Associate grant of $70,000 and a high-performance grant, earned by a top-six finish in the 2005 ICC Trophy, of $125,000.

"It's enormously significant," Inamdar, who admitted he was so nervous before the final round of matches that he didn't sleep, told Cricinfo. "It will enable us to give the player some incentives for winning it and will give them and us some medium to long-term security.

"This gives us a chance to structure something for the medium-term at least. It enables us to look at our infrastructure and development, which is very important. We simply haven't had the resources or the manpower to deal with it until now.

"All in all, this is a sizable advance made by Cricket Kenya. It enables us not to have to worry about how we pay people and how to keep the national team going. It will mean the players know where the next pay cheque and the next meal is going to come from." He added that he hoped to persuade Scotland to travel to Kenya ahead of the September Twenty20 tournament to give both countries exposure to a format that neither has played at international level. He also would be speaking to South Africa to see if the Kenyans could participate in their domestic Twenty20 competition.