Kenya arrived in Harare last night on the first leg of a three-week tour which marks their return to the international stage after a year of bitter and divisive infighting which at one time threatened the future of the game in the country.
The old regime, with whom the players were at virtual civil war, have been replaced, much of the money owed to them from as far back as 2003 has been repaid, and there is a new feeling of optimism in the Kenyan camp. They will play three matches in Zimbabwe - two three-day games and a one-dayer, all against Zimbabwe A - before heading across to Namibia where they meet Bermuda in the semi-finals of the Intercontinental Cup.
In the last year Kenya, despite being the leading Associate Member, have played only twice, and both were fairly low-key qualifying matches in the Intercontinental Cup. Attempts to arrange fixtures against Full Member countries have been stonewalled, and although both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe offered matches, both appear to have had changes of heart in recent weeks. A request from the Kenyan Cricket Association to Zimbabwe Cricket for the one-day game on October 20 to be a full ODI was brushed aside - the Zimbabwe board said that its players were too tired.
And so the Kenyans arrive with a point to prove. If they compete with Zimbabwe A then they will leave with even more ammunition to try to persuade the ICC to force Full Member countries to play them; even if they don't, at least they will be better prepared for the Bermuda match.
Steve Tikolo, Kenya's experienced captain, was upbeat. "We are ranked higher than all the four teams in the semi-finals but we cannot take anything for granted," he told the Nairobi-based Nation. "However, I'm confident we can go all the way and win the championship if we play to our capacity."
Whatever happens, the tour should not be as controversial as their last one to Zimbabwe when they lost all three ODIs amid reports of clashes within the team. The series was also the subject of an investigation by the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit.