Kenyan cricket was boosted with the news that the Mombasa Sports Club ground has been granted official ODI status following an inspection by Mike Procter, the ICC match referee. Until now, all international cricket has had to be played in Nairobi.
"The ground in Mombasa is lovely," Procter said. "Since the last inspection in 2000 the playing area has been extended and now meets the minimum requirements as laid down by ICC."
Mombasa has been at the heart of Kenyan cricket since its earliest days, and while the ground fulfilled almost all the criteria, it was just too narrow. It has hosted many major matches, but only following major renovations which have seen about 10 yards added to the width of the outfield has it been able to meet all the ICC's requirements.
There were concerns that a large mango tree just inside the long-on boundary would be problematical, but ICC officials confirmed that it was covered and allowable under the Laws of the game. Procter added that it "added to the character of the field".
"I am particularly pleased with the approval of Mombasa Sports Club as an ODI venue and I thank the management and staff of the club for their hard work and support in ensuring that the ground and the facilities were in pristine condition when inspected," beamed Samir Inamdar, the Cricket Kenya chairman whose home ground it is. " This is a tremendous boost for cricket in Mombasa and a source of great pride to Cricket Kenya. I look forward to the MSC hosting its first ODI in the near future."