Sunday, May 14, 2006

Publicising Kenyan Cricket

From the last I heard, the NPCA transfer window should now be open and the details of the new season should have been released. So far, not a peep from either the NPCA or the online Kenyan press about either. I am also still waiting to hear official confirmation and further details of the results of the six-a-side tournament.
Likewise nothing seems to be happening regarding cricket at the coast. It is almost as though the Three Wise Monkeys have taken over publicising the sport in Kenya - See No Cricket, Hear No Cricket and Speak No Cricket. Uganda on the other hand have regular reports in their press about the upcoming Castle League, and even about junior cricket. Our senior team may be stronger than the Ugandans at the moment, but how long will this continue if new players are not encouraged to take up the sport? How are sponsors going to be lured to support Kenyan cricket if nothing is written about it? How are the public meant to support a sport they are not kept informed about?
Let's compare Kenya to the other top Associates in terms of utilising the internet to promote cricket:
Scotland has an official website with a 'partners page' showing 14 different sponsors. There is also a supporter's website, The Rampant Lion. There are links on the official site to over 60 clubs, most of whom also have their own sites. The official site has results, fixtures, news on leagues, youth cricket, a shop, you name it.
Ireland also has an Official Site, even though it is hosted by Cricket Europe. Again, there is news on results, clubs, development etc. Though admitedly less than on the Scotland sites, it is still a very informative page for those wanting to know about Irish cricket, and a great way to get the message out there to fans.
UAE are represented on the web by an official site. Again, there are the links to clubs, results etc. as well as links to the homepages of the different Emitates. There is also an unofficial site at, though it does not look to have been updated in a while.
Bermuda have just launched their Official Website. It has current league standings, and all the usual information listed in the above sites. They also have a good news service devoted to keeping fans of Bermuda cricket up to date. Am I beginning to sound repetetive? If so, it is because I am trying to make a point.
Canada's Official site has been a regular visiting point for me recently as I try to keep up with news on Kenya's rivals. Again they have the player profiles, league standings, and details about the current season's results and fixtures. As with most of the countries listed so far, there is also an archives section with information on the past few years domestic stats.
Namibia have a great site with all the usual features. One thing I do especially like about it is the contacts link for Namibian cricket clubs. Basically, anyone who wanted to get in touch with a club could do it at the click of the mouse. Now wouldn't that be good for Kenyan cricket!
Holland round out the rest of the top 8 Associates, i.e those who are taking part in this year's Intercontinental Cup, and the World Cup next year. I can't read Dutch, but I have a fairly good idea that this is their official site. It certainly looks official and again has all the features we should now have come to expect. It is also one of the only sites I have found so far to have a fan's Forum as well.
Basically, Kenya remains the only one of the top Associates that does not have an official website. Not only that, neither do any of the Kenyan Provinces have sites. This is something that really does need to be dealt with. Not only will it serve as a reference point for those in Kenya who want to know about the game, it will also serve as a forum where Cricket Kenya can inform the rest of the World on their progress. I believe both are fundamental criteria if the game is going to continue to grow in Kenya. Not only that, it should be a matter of pride. It is shameful to say the least that we are the only major cricket playing nation without an official presence on the web.
Just to rub it in further, here are some more official websites of Associate and Affiliate members around the World:
Hong Kong. (hosted on cricinfo)
That is a total of 26 Affiliates and Associates with websites. Some of the teams would probably not compete with our U17 side, but at least their public would be informed about it. I have said it before - it doesn't matter how good your product is if it is not marketed correctly. Cricket Kenya have a good product, but we desperately need to see some marketing.

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