Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Kenya's Unsung Cricket Heroes

The title refers of course to the people who make up the Kenya Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association.
Founded in 1958, this largely voluntary organisation provides the officials necessary for actual cricket to go ahead. Often criticised or ignored, the umpires and scorers do a largely thankless job, but one that is absolutely vital to the continued success of the game within Kenya. Over the last couple of years, there has been little for Kenya's umpires and scorers to do, especially on an international stage, but with the internal wrangles now a thing of the past and increased action in all spheres of the game, it will be a busy time ahead.
Currently, the board comprises Abdul Moughal Sattar, one of the oldest serving members of the Association as chairman, Ebhrahim Fidahusein (V.C), Rockie D'Mello (Sec), Ashraf Chaudry (Tres), Mosses Owesi, Lalji Bhudia and Naran Hirani. With Kenya's increased international schedule, and hopefully the introduction of a national league, it will be their job to ensure the rising standards of cricket are met with a similar rise in the levels of umpiring. Kenya's umpires are not without experience, indeed several have represented Kenya at international level in the past. It will be the task of the administrative body to ensure that these umpires are kept up to date with the latest methods and are given the opportunity to keep up with the best. They must also try to bring new umpires through to continue the tradition of good service. It would certainly be fantastic to see one day a Kenya umpire on the ICC elite panel. At present, the closet umpire to this level from Kenya would probably be Subhash Modi, father of Hitesh. This pair in fact share a unique record in that they are the only father-son pair to have umpired and played in the same ODI match (Kenya vs. West Indies in Nairobi 2001).
Kenyan umpires to have represented the country on the international stage so far:
ICC Trophy:
Anil Sarkar in Holland (1990)
Subhash Modi in Kenya (1994)
Makbul Jaffer in Malaysia (1997).
Commonwealth Games:
Subhash Modi in Malaysia (1998).
ICC World Cup:
Anil Sarkar in 1996 - Pakistan (Third Umpire)
Subhash Modi in 1999 - England (Fourth Umpire)
Rockie D'Mello in 2003 - South Africa (Fourth Umpire)
One Day International Series, Kenya Vs. West Indies, 2001 in Kenya:
On field Umpires:
Subhash Modi
Narendra Dave
Rockie Demello
Third Umpires:
Narendra Dave
Lalji Bhudia
Subhash Modi.
2006 and 2007 should see more added to this list, so all the best to those umpires involved.
Thanks to Subhash Modi for the information.

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