Monday, May 01, 2006
Latest news from the ICC homepage indicates that Kenya will play host to the top youngsters in the World in February 2010. Malasia have been picked to host the 2008 event, and then Canada and UAE the next two in 2012 and 2014. The announcements come together with a string of other events hosted by various of the Associate members and seem to back up the ICC's stance on spreading the game. It is a positive step by them, and will make a huge difference to the countries chosen as hosts. It is good to see the efforts of the Associates being recognised. On the teams selected to host the U19 WC, Ehsan Mani said:
"All four members have sufficient grounds and turf pitches and these events will provide impetus for the continued growth of the sport in these four geographically spread countries".
And on Kenya:
"Kenya has also hosted an ICC Trophy and has extensive experience of hosting events involving Full Members including the ICC Knock-out in 2000."
This is very positive news for Kenya and gives local fans something to look forward to after Nairobi hosts the 'Mini World Cup' next February. Both events mean that Cricket Kenya will need to spend money on infastructure to ensure Kenya puts on a good show. We need to prove to the World that our groundsmen are capable of providing quality turf pitches, and that our administration are up to the task of organising big tournaments. True we have done it in the past, but it has not always been the bed of roses some would have us believe. Indeed it was alleged financial irregularities in a home tournament that led to Sharad Ghai's trial earlier this year. After the mess made by the KCA in the last couple of years, Kenyan Cricket has a thing or two to prove to the World. Hosting these tournaments will go a long way towards doing that.
In terms of the effect it will have on the domestic game, both events are a huge chance to popuralise the sport. Managed correctly, there is no reason why there should not be full houses at every match, and real interest in the game built up. Cricket Kenya needs to have the infastructure of the domestic game at a level to take advantage of this. Youngsters are going to want to learn to play the game, and they must be accomodated. Wanainchi must be encouraged to support the game, not only for these international events, but also at a domestic level. In short, interest must be built to fever pitch before and during the events, then this needs to be maintained. It is a tall ask I know, but how many well organised sports events do Kenyans get a chance to experience on home soil. Not a lot. If Cricket Kenya can show they have what it takes to be successful in managing these events, they will gain a lot of supporters. Lets hope Samir Inamdar and his team have what it takes to make the most of these wonderful opportunities.
Posted by Chemosit at 10:00 pm