Good on the ICC. I said in my last post on the subject that something should be done about Zimbabwe Cricket's cavalier approach to anyone but themselves, and it seems like cricket bosses in Dubai had the same idea. We are back to having a full 5 match series, and the ICC have risen in my estimation. Zimbabwe's reasoning for cancelling two of the matches was supposedly 'financial'; they clarified this by saying they could not afford to provide TV coverage for the third umpire. The fact that Kenya could well win the series, and leapfrog them on the table had "nothing" to do with it. Of course it didn't. So when it was pointed out that as Kenya is an associate, so TV coverage is not needed, well the reason just seemed to slip away. Ozias Bvute is also reported to have come under a lot of pressure in Dubai over Zimbabwe Crickets handling of the two tours. This is excellent news for the Kenyan team that should have been named yesterday - I will post it as soon as I know. The squad has been training hard under coach Roger Harper, and his views on the make up of the team are welcoming:
"Let me put it this way, what the Kenyan team needs is having the best players playing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the veterans who have been there a long time or the fresh faces playing. What matters is getting your best players to represent Kenya fully."
Absolutely right, and especially with the ramifications of a good result on this tour. If Kenya have a winning tour to Zimbabwe, it will force them to have to play in the Bangladesh tri-series or risk losing out to both teams. Harper has been concentrating training on getting the players back to a fitness level where they can focus for long periods during a game. He has said that the lack of match practice is a worry, but that not having played means the players are hungry and are raring to go. The upcoming tour will be a litmus test of how well the training has gone, and will give us a good idea of what the future hold under his tutelage.
Harper is keen that cricket is expanded outside the main hubs, and is optimistic about the future of the game in the country:
"We have young talent but we need to train them how to apply their skills more effectively. If we implement a proper development programme, to train and shape properly mentally, giving them focus, the right attitude to the game and application of their skills then we shall be up there with the best."
Bring on the 23rd! -This will be a very interesting tour indeed.