Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Task Ahead Of Cricket Kenya

It is always easy for people to sit back and criticise others. I have read a couple of comments and articles recently having a stab at the new administrators of Kenyan Cricket. I thought I would make a check list of the things that faced Cricket Kenya when they took over, so that people could see what was actually being done. Without further ado, this are how I saw their to do list:
  • Find sponsorship. So far, they have managed to get on board Ihsan Sports of Pakistan as a kit sponsor. A great effort which has really helped get things off the ground.They still need to bring on board more sponsors, and I'm sure this will come about.
  • Get more games for the National side. With the help of the ICC, Kenya have already played more ODIs this year than in the last three. It would be great to have a home series against a Test nation, so plenty yet to be done, but so far the efforts have borne fruit.
  • Get a Coach. Done: Roger Harper has been signed, very probably with a view to his home knowlege of the Windies in mind as well as his coaching expertise. I believe Kenya would also benefit from specialist bowling and batting coaches, should finances allow - one of the reasons CK need more sponsorship.
  • Set up a Youth feeder program. No news on this as yet. I have my ideas about how this can be helped along, and will be blogging on it in due course. I do know it is something that Samir Inamdar is very keen to see happen, so expect something to be announced soon.
  • Set up a National Youth League. part of above, but in itself a huge challenge. Will be a huge stepping stone on the road to success for Kenyan cricket.
  • Set up a National One Day League. Again, no news on this as yet. This is going to be the only way to get players from all regions feeding into the national squad and getting a fair chance.
  • Introduce a domestic 4-day competition. One thing illustrated by the draw with Holland was that to compete at this standard of the game, Kenya's best players must be playing the longer game more regularly. This means a domestic comp. It will be costly, and will be tough to organise, but must happen if we are going to maintain credibility on the international stage.
  • Make use of Kenya 'A' to introduce players to the national team. Something that in the past Kenya have been very poor at is finding a way of taking players from performing well at domestic level to performing well in international matches. The 'A' side is the obvious way to do this, and with the upcoming tour of Denmark, it looks as though Cricket Kenya recognise this. Again, a great start, but it would give the game a huge boost if we could play more 'A' matches against the other Associates.
  • Raise popularity of the game. Very hard to judge how this is progressing. I believe an official website would go a long way towards helping this, but there also needs to be a concerted effort to get the print, tv and radio media on side. No small ask. Maybe CK could look at employing a promotions officer to raise the profile of the game.

These are a few of the more obvious tasks that faced Cricket Kenya when they took over. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that some of them are going to be very hard to achieve, and will take time to put in place. Neither should it be difficult to see how much work has already been done. Of course there is a lot to do - that is generally the case when you inherit a mess, but the important thing is that progress is being made. Critics would do better to ask 'how can I help' and then get off their backsides and do something positive rather than sitting whinging about what they think is not being done. It will take a collective effort to get Kenyan cricket back to what it should be, but a start has been made. With a collective effort, there is no reason this progress cannot be built on to take us all the way.

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