Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sheikh Sets Eyes On World Cup

More good news in the lead up to the World Cup in the West Indies: Kenyan Left Arm Spinner Muhammad Sheikh has stated that not only does he intend to play for Kenya again, but that he has a World Cup place firmly in his sights. Sheikh missed out on Kenya's tours to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh through (like Hitesh Modi) being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is currently based in Adelaide, South Australia, where he has been playing Grade cricket for the last couple of seasons. Cricket Kenya could not afford to fly players back from overseas, so unfortunately he was not considered. His absence would certainly have made a difference in Bangladesh, and he would bring much needed experience to the Intercontinental Cup side. Muhammad, who's best ODI figures are 4/36, says
"Playing Grade cricket has done me lots of good. Despite having a fairly okay season last year, I'm looking forward to the one coming as I have the World Cup on my mind."
With Collins Obuya still a long way away from his best form, and a general lack of left handers available to the selectors, this is very good news indeed. Kenya badly need someone other than Tikolo to share the spin load in the middle overs, and Sheikh way well be the person to play this role. As with Modi, the difficulty is finding the money to fly Skeikh back to Kenya in the lead up so the selectors can see first hand how he is playing. He has fared well for his side in South Australia, and Grade cricket in Australia is a tough school. It would certainly be in Kenya's interests to give him his chance this year, so he can gel with the rest of the team come March.

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