Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Readin Chris Tsuma's review of the year gone by in today's Nation (the article is titled: Tikolo mellows with age), I wondered - and not for the first time, what exactly Cricket Kenya have done to get the Nation off-side.
Mind you, his article does have some positives in it and compared to some we have seen from the paper over the last year is an improvement on some of the vitriolic nonsense that has been written about Cricket Kenya by a supposed neutral organisation. At least credit is given to the players that have performed well. Tikolo, Mishra, Varaiya and Odoyo all come out with positive reports, though Tsuma misses I think just how well some of them have played. No mention is made of Tikolo being top ranked of the Associate players in terms of batting, the fact that this year has also seen Odoyo reach several personal bests nor that Varaiya took a wicket with his first ever ball in ODIs. Peter Ongondo I feel also deserved a mention for his form earlier in the season, when he took a wicket in every match Kenya played.
It is Tsuma's overall assessment of the year which I think is most unfair:
"Save for the emergence of three young players as internationals and Tikolo’s continued batting form among a few positives, it has been an utterly forgettable year for Kenya cricket".
What a load of rubbish.
For the first time in several years, Kenya actually had a busy calendar year in terms of Internationals. Part of this was due to the ICC and the Intercontinental Cup, but no small amount of effort was put in by Cricket Kenya to secure the series against Bangladesh (twice), Zimbabwe, the Australian Acadamy and Uganda. Irrespective of the results, this should be seen as a definite positive for Cricket Kenya.
Kenya was also confirmed as the hosts for the WCL Division 1, the Africa Zone women's World Cup qualifiers and the 2010 Under 19 World Cup
Next, there is the issue of sponsorship. Lack of finances has been a real problem for Kenyan cricket after the mis-managment of the previous administration and it should be a huge credit to Cricket Kenya that they have signed two major deals to secure the future of the game. Tsuma's point about Cricket Kenya being unlikely to secure matches against the opposition they need to keep the Nimbus sponsorship is simply uninformed. Samir Inamdar has access to plenty of administrators from Test nations through his post at the ICC and there is a definite push for teams to visit Kenya on their way to or from South Africa and Zimbabwe. Cricket Kenya would not have signed the deal if they did not have the belief they would get the required matches.
His claim that the details of the Nimbus partnership are sketchy is plainly untrue. Cricket Kenya released pretty much all the details of the contract: exactly how much they will get, what the conditions were etc. All those who reported on the partnership came out with the view it was a definite positive for Kenyan cricket.
Claims that the NPCA are running the only domestic competition are also either at best not researched, at worst clear fabrication. In Mombasa, the CCA league is about 3/4 completed and will wind up in February next year. Rift Valley successfully completed the Akshar League and will start the RVCA main league in January. Successful six-a-side and junior competitions were also hosted by NPCA, RVCA and Kisumu. CCA also successfully hosted the Atul Shah tournament. True, there has been no provincial tournament set up as promised (it has been put back until after the WCL), but to call domestic cricket dead is an insult to all those playing in Kenya and to those working hard to revitalise the game.
This year has also seen Kenya come within a rained off match off winning it's first ever ODI series against a Full member when we drew 2-2 with Zimbabwe. Then we completed our first ever series win by beating Canada 2-0, before registering our first ever home series win against Bermuda 3-0. True, there have been low points, most noteably the losses to Bangladesh and the failure to get through to the Intercontinental Cup final, but it has been far from a forgettable year.
It is high time that the Nation started to show more responsibilty in their reporting. There has been constant criticism of Cricket Kenya at a time when they are trying very hard to rebuild the game after inheriting a complete mess. They need to be given the support neccessary to achieve this, or if that is beyond the Nation correspondents, at lest they should be given fair coverage with credit given where it is due.
In case anyone thought I was alone in my opinion on this, here is the link to what cricinfo have to say.
Posted by Chemosit at 11:00 am