Home > News >

Kenyan cricket; On a free-fall since 2003

Kenya
Kenyan cricket has been on a downward spiral since 2003 © Getty Images

Nairobi: Feb 21, 2014

No Kenyan cricket lover needs a star gazer to predict that in a few years the country will be a cricket desert, their present international status notwithstanding.

Forget about the excitement generated by the outstanding performances in the past, including an incredible victory over the West Indies in the 1996 World Cup, quite simply, Kenya cannot survive on past glory, reports Xinhua.

Their problem is a simple one: they don’t have a meaningful national youth programme. There is nothing in place to continuously replace the veterans who are retiring each year.

On several occasions, Cricket Kenya (CK) has recalled retired players during World Cup qualifiers or the World Cup itself. In 2003, the board recalled former captain Asif Karim out of retirement to play in the World Cup, co-hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

The 42-year-old Steve Tikolo was recalled from retirement to steer the team as player-cum-coach during the World Twenty20 qualifiers in Dubai last October. Also recalled was another veteran Thomas Odoyo, aged 36.

Karim said the inclusion of Tikolo led to an embarrassing 11th position in the qualifiers.

“Steve has served as a player and captain of Kenya with a lot of dignity over the years. Unfortunately, as a coach, his skills are wanting. He failed miserably as the Under-19 coach when Kenya did not qualify for the U-19 World Cup in 2013,” Karim said.

The three World Cup veteran said Tikolo’s inclusion alongside Odoyo was a welcome move by the selectors under the circumstances. However, their performance didn’t make much impact.

National coach Robin Brown from Zimbabwe and captain Collins Obuya resigned in December leading to a lacuna that saw the elevation of Tikolo.

There is no active nationwide youth tournament which the national selectors can draw from. In short, cricket-wise, Kenya is like a vehicle that has no reserve fuel, no service station anywhere in the vicinity and is steadily heading for empty.

Surprisingly, there have been loud proclamations for the world to hear that the country is ripe for Test status. Kenya, alongside the Netherlands and Canada, recently lost One-Day International (ODI) status owing to their poor show in the just concluded ICC World Cup qualifier in New Zealand.

United Arab Emirates (UAE), Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea replaced them as new ODI members, joining Ireland, Afghanistan and Scotland for the next four years.

Instead of showing alarm at the depleting resources, the speed is being accelerated. Someone will have to apply the brakes and radio for help.

Cricket Kenya former chairman Sharad Ghai said the board should stop feigning surprise that they failed to qualify for the 2015 World Cup and also lost the One Day International (ODI) status.

“It was an open secret that making it to the 2015 World Cup would be more than an uphill task because the players had been put on a slippery slope through the years by continued blundering officials. I was not surprised. It was easy to see a losing team. In fact, I would have been surprised if Kenya qualified for the World Cup because preparations were poor,” Ghai said.

There is the need to shift focus from Nairobi because the city is not the only place where cricket talent lies. The management also needs to professionalise because the era of volunteers is as gone as the last century.

Since Kenya lost to India at the 2003 World Cup semifinal, the beam of hope has faded and instead has been replaced by despondency and discontent.

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 4: KL Rahul brings up half-century; South Zone 73/0 after 18 overs

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi: Mitchell Marsh gets half-century

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Preparations for upcoming World Cup resume as Ind-SL face-off

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: South Zone 62/0 at Tea; need another 239 runs to win

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Asif Iqbal claims Younis Khan’s brilliance should silence the critics

Australia 120/5 at lunch on Day 3 of 2nd Test vs Pakistan

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone all out for 403

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Asif Iqbal claims Younis Khan’s brilliance should silence the critics

NGOs pursue education for all

Australia 120/5 at lunch on Day 3 of 2nd Test vs Pakistan

Ayurvedic treatment: 7 types of Ayurvedic massages you should know about

Shahid Kapoor rocks Rome!

Birthday Special: 5 times Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wowed us on international platforms

Hrithik Roshan finally gets divorced from Sussanne Khan!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Shazahn Padamsee to play Gujarati girl in upcoming flick ‘Meet The Patels’

Beauty Tip #43 — Get fuller-looking lips with home-made sugar scrub

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here