One of the stars of Kenya's World Cup success in 2003, Collins Obuya, has left for Australia in a bid to kick-start a career which promised so much but has been plagued by injury and a loss of form.
Obuya, will spend five weeks with Australian coach Terry Jenner, the man credited with being a key influence in the career of Shane Warne. While there, Obuya will live with Jenner to give him as much exposure as possible and also train with the South Australia squad.
Obuya was signed by Warwickshire shortly after the World Cup, but a knee injury quickly ended his county ambitions. He suffered another blow when an appendicitis caused him to miss the 2004 Champions Trophy in England.
Although he is now fit, Obuya has struggled to find any consistency with the ball. In four Intercontinental Cup matches this season his four wickets have cost 61.25. This has impacted on his batting, with only one fifty in six innings and an average of 18.00.
Samir Inamdar, the chairman of the Kenyan Cricket Association, said that this was the first step in the KCA's initiative to invest in players. "We know that Collins is a great talent and has a bright future in cricket ahead of him and we believe this opportunity is just what he needs to help him along. Jenner is credited the making Warne into the feared bowler that he is today and I am sure Collins will benefit immensely from this training."
Although the KCA has almost no money, Obuya's time in Australia has been made possible thanks to of a $4000 sponsorship from Petroleum and Industrial Services via its PureStream enterprise - a project involving distribution of clean water to rural areas. This represents a breakthrough for Kenyan cricket as sponsors had completely dried up under the old regime headed by Sharad Ghai. The balance of the funding - about $3,500 to cover airfares and accommodation - is shared between the KCA's own development grant and the ICC's high-performance budget.
Inamdar added that the KCA remained focused on investing in young players for the future of the national team, with particular emphasis in getting them ready for the 2007 World Cup.