Monday, July 03, 2006

Rift Valley Look To Youth For The Future

Last Saturday, the newly elected Rift Valley Cricket Association held their first meeting to chart the future of cricket in the region. Two important decisions came from it, and both look positive in terms of increasing the player base. First was the decision, that the Regional Under 15 tournament comprising Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda will be held at Greensteds school in August. Exact dates are yet to be finalised, but this is a great boost for the area. It gives them further experience in hosting a tournament, and preparing pitches of the standard required. It also gives kids in the area something to aim for and be inspired by. At the moment, I think it unlikely that many of the Kenya team would come from the Rift Valley, but when youngsters in the area see what the game is all about, that may well change in the future.
Couple this with the second decision: That officers will undergo professional training in order to embark on a serious school training program. This is a great start for the new board - they are certainly making all the right noises. What we need to see now, is this being put into action. Cricket Kenya needs to help in both of these projects, and I'm sure the intention is there to do just that.
After the disappointing performance of our A team in Denmark, it is good to hear that something is being done about encouraging youngsters to play the game, and hence increase the player base. What would be even better would be to see similar things going on elsewhere in the country. Time after all is short, and the sooner we get started in bringing on the youth, the sooner we will see them come through to play for Kenya. We have until the 2011 World Cup qualifying tournament to do this. It is not a long time.

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