Thursday, July 20, 2006

Good coverage From Local Press

It has taken a while for the local press to show interest in the cricket scene, but this week has shown a marked improvement, certainly by the Nation. Today sees two good articles on Kenya's preparations to face Canada. The first, by Chris Tsuma in the Nation focusses on Thomas Odoyo looking forward to facing Canada again. It is well worth a read as it also touches on the youth players, Kennedy's return to the squad and the upcoming NPCA tournament.
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Today's Standard carries the other story which concerns itself more with the progress being made by the team, and the centuries scored in the practice match. Harper is reported as saying that the batting line up has shown great improvement, which is certainly heartening news. He is also reported to be happy to have Kennedy Obuya back in the squad citing his experience as a big boost. Reading between the lines, I would suggest that this indicates Kennedy may well get the nod for the Canada tour, again I feel good news.
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Oscar Pilipili's article then goes on to focus on the player transfers in the NPCA league which makes very interesting reading. He quotes Parklands Chairman, Nilesh Lakhani as saying
"PSC has signed Kamande and we shall be having two new players who are members of the national team before the NPCA league kicks off,"
Parklands seem to have upgraded their facilities, and Lakhani believes this to be a major attraction for ambitious players. With the aquisition of national team players and the facilities to train them, I wonder if Parklands are eyeing a spot in the Super League next season. No doubt Premier club and Kanbis B will have every intention of seeing that doesn't happen.

5 comments:

Ram said...

Nick,

I think you made a very good point there by pointing out the media interest in the game. Actually, I was surprised to see the Kenyan media dedicating news columns to the team's practice sessions, not to mention articles speculating about who would and who wouldn't make it to the national team for the Canadian trip..

This clearly shows that cricket in Kenya does have a substantial fan base that can be tapped into with regular fixtures for the Kenyan team, both home and away, and with regular cricket coverage on TV..

In this context Nick, will you be able to provide any information/links about how cricket compares with football (soccer), rugby and athletics in Kenya when it comes to public following?

Chemosit said...

Hi Ram,

It is indeed great to see cricket getting good coverage in the local papers. In terms of a fan base - there is a small (compared to general population), but growing one, but it would still be a long way from the most popular team sport.
Currently, I would say the order would go:
Soccer
Volleyball
Rugby (include both XVs and 7s)
Cricket
Hockey

In tersms of recent (last 5 years or so)achievements however it would go:
Cricket
Rugby
Volleyball (mens - the women are actually quite good)
Soccer/hockey

The growth potential of cricket is huge, and the natural talent I think greater than the other sports. I think with the increase in matches that Kenya are likely to win over the next couple of years, we will see cricket's popularity really start to rise.

Ram said...

Nick,

Thanks for the information..Great to hear that over the last 5 years, Kenyan cricket has achieved more than what any other sport has managed..In this context, it's disappointing that cricket comes only after soccer, rugby and volleyball in terms of public following though I feel much of it must be attributed to the negative publicity KCA gave to the game in the country.

On a slightly different note, is it true that Kenyan soccer also faced the same problems that affected cricket?..Did it have as adverse an impact on soccer's popularity as it had on cricket's?

Chemosit said...

Hi Ram - I think as Kenya have successes against the other Associates over the next couple of years, we will see the game begin to really grow. Domestically there is a push from both CK and also the provincial bodies to grow the game. We should see this reflected in an upturn in popularity before too long.

Regards soccer - yes, indeed they are still in the doldrums in many respects. Allegations of corruption and scandals are not helping. Not so long ago matches were followed by big crowds. Recenty I have seen photos of premier league matches played in empty stadia. Take a look at the Kenya soccer blog (under non-cricket links)for more details if you are interested.
While it is sad for kenyan soccer fans (and I am one), it is also a great opportunity for cricket to woo new supporters.

Ram said...

Nick,

I think you had a valid point when you said soccer's loss could be cricket's gain. With the new administration trying its best to raise the profile of Kenyan cricket, what is needed is a strong performance on HOME soil in the forthcoming series against Ban and Ber, not to mention the WCL Div I tournament that can have positive spin-offs on the game's followers and help bring in more fans for subsequent games.

I also hope CK has their website up and running as soon as they can..That would be one way of telling the World they are different from their predecessors and they mean business.

About Kenya's tour of Canada, I think this schedule of facing weaker opposition before stronger opposition (Bangladesh) is good for them and I hope they can do really well..