Wednesday, June 28, 2006

ICC Inspect Kenya's Pitches

According to Cricinfo, Mike Proctor, an ICC match referee has arrived in Kenya to inspect facilities before the upcoming series against Bangladesh. The article says that Proctor is due to tour five venues in Nairobi plus the Mombasa Sports Club. Only Gymkhana is mentioned of the Nairobi grounds, but I would expect the others to be: Aga Khan, Sir Ali Muslim, Simba Union and Nairobi Club.
It is no secret that Kenya's pitches need to be improved after the lack of interest shown under the KCA. I do feel however that it is unfair to say that Harper "criticised the local administration for doing little to improve the facilities." True he said they needed to be improved, and that Kenya can not rely on talent alone, but he did not voice this as a criticism of the administration, rather as a step that needed to be taken to improve the situation. There is a distinct difference.
It is not as though Cricket Kenya are unaware of the situation. The cricinfo article itself quotes Samir Inamdar as saying:
"We need to have many of our facilities upgraded for official ODIs"
This acknowlegement is a refreshing change from the status quo in Kenya which was often to deny any problem despite the obvious. I agree with Harper - to produce top quality players, we need to have top quality facilities. This does however take time, and Cricket Kenya can certainly not be criticised for sitting back and not doing anything. It will be interesting to see what Proctor decides about the grounds he inspects, and then what action Cricket Kenya will take. Hopefully improvement of the facilities is something that the ICC could help with, at least in terms of expertise.
Kenya is due to host quite a number of matches in the coming year, and it is imperative that our facilities are brought in line with International standards. Firstly as a reflection on Kenya, and secondly because teams are more likely to agree to tour if they know they will be playing on a decent surface.

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