Saturday, February 25, 2006
Steve Tikolo (Captain).
Born June: 25, 1971, Nairobi.
Bats: Right handed.
Bowling style Right-arm off-spin.
Kenya's captain should need little introduction. Viewed by many as the best batsman outside of Test cricket, Steve averages 52.75 in first class cricket with a top score of 220, and along with Kennedy Otieno, is one of the few Kenyan players to have scored a century in an ODI. He also scored Kenya's first ever half century way back in the 1996 World cup against India. Since then, he has been the mainstay of Kenya's batting line-up, and took over from Maurice Odumbe as Captain of the national side in 2002-3. A wily captain, he is also Kenya's top spinner at present, at least until Collins Obuya can retrieve his form. Yet to take 5 wickets in an innings, he is never the less crucial to restricting the opposition during the middle overs of a match, and this played a large part in the success of the 2003 World Cup. At 34 he is the older statesman of the side, but do not expect Tikolo to be retiring any time soon. He is one of the few Kenyan players who has experienced professional cricket in various countries, and his experience in guiding the youngsters in Kenya's team will be almost as important as him leading the way with the bat. As well as being a great cricketer, he is also a great bloke. March on Steve Tikolo, you are one of Kenya's true sporting heroes!
Thomas Odoyo (Vice Captain).
Born: May 12, 1978, Nairobi.
Bats: Right handed.
Bowls: Right-arm medium-fast
ODI debut India v Kenya at Cuttack - Feb 18, 1996
Thomas made his ODI debut against India in the 1996 World Cup as a 17 year old, and has been one of the most important players in the Kenyan side ever since. While his bowling has consistently improved over the years, Thomas still has yet to fully realise his potential as a batsman, having only made 3 fifties in 70 ODI innings. That said, he did for a while share a World Record partnership of 119 with Tony Suji against Zimbabwe, so can be very useful. I believe he should be used more higher up the order, as he is often wasted coming in lower down. He will almost certainly be one of Kenya's key players during the rest of the year, and should further add to his haul of 74 One-Day wickets (12 from 9 matches so far in 2006).
Born: April 15th 1980 in Kakamega, Western Kenya.
Bats: Right handed.
Bowls: Right Arm Fast Medium.
Josephat has been in and out of the Kenyan team ever since an explosive start to his international career, when he bowled Neil Johnson of Zimbabwe for 16 with his first ever ball. Unfortunately, he has only played 2 other ODIs until the Zimbabwe series, and was yet to take another wicket at International level. He has a fluid delivery, and is yet to live up to the promise he showed at junior level when he took 7 wickets for Kenya at an average of 32.43.
His selection in the squad to Zimbabwe gave him another chance to show what he can do, but unfortunately he was unable to capitalise taking only 1 wicket in 3 matches and conceding 5.5 an over. His selection was in no doubt partly due to his performance for Swamibapa in the recent NPCA Main League where he took 13 wickets at an average of 12.46 for a miserly 2.79 runs an over. International cricket is a very different kettle of fish, and after the Zimbabwe tour he was again dropped from the side. With a good crop of youngsters knocking on the door, it might be a while before we again see Josephat back in the side.
Bats: Right Handed.
Bowls: Right-Arm Off Breaks
ODI debut Kenya v Zimbabwe at Taunton - May 15, 1999
Jimmy Kamande is one of the better fielders I have had the good luck to watch. For that reason alone, I am glad to see him in the squad. As a batsman, Jimmy has never really been able to make his mark in ODIs, but has showed some good fight so far this year, though still been unable to convert his starts. As a bowler, Kamande has the misfortune to have his bowling action called into question, and has missed out on several of Kenya's squads as a result. Now bowling more off-spin than medium pace, his action is hopefully fixed, and he will give Kenya a useful all-round option. He has had mixed results so far with the ball, and may not have done quite enough to make sure of his place. At 27, Jimmy still has some years left if he can cement his place with good performances this year. but is old enough that, should he fail, he may well lose out to the new crop of players coming through.
Bats: Right Handed.
Bowls: Right Arm Fast.
Only ODI Kenya v Sri Lanka at Sharjah - Apr 6, 2003
Andy Moles, who coached Alfred in the South Africa youth camp, regards him as a bowler with the potential to dismiss batsmen from full member countries on a regular basis. He is one of Kenya's only genuine pace bowlers, and can move the ball as well. Unfortunatley, Alfred has not yet lived up to the expectations and had indifferent tours of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. As a result, he was left out of the squad to face Holland, which could possibly have been a better hunting ground for him. It is likely that Alfred will get a bit of a run for the A team this year which may give him the experience and confidence to make the step back to the national team. Kenya still expects a lot from him, so lets hope he can find that spark that Andy Moles was talking about soon!
Bats: Right Handed.
At 19, Mishra was the youngest of the players in Kenya's touring squad to Zimbabwe. He is also one of the more exciting prospects for Kenya's future. Yet to debut in an ODI, and only having played 2 first class matches for an average of 8.50, one would be forgiven for wondering why he was in the squad at all. The reason is he has plenty of talent, and it is likely that one day he will be a key batsman for Kenya. So far this year, he has been one of the few players who has really rewarded the selectors for choosing him. His ODI debut didn't get off to a great start, being run out for 5, but he has since got into the fourties three times and the thirties once. Twice he has got out trying for his fifty, and once he gets that monkey off his back, he will no doubt go on to make some big scores. Selected for strong form in the domestic league, he has the ability to see off the new ball and go on to make big totals. Unfortunately, he has so far been used too low in the order, so has had to bat under pressure when the top order failed. If he gets given a chance higher up, he could develop into a really useful number 3 or 4. In the Intercontinental Cup, he came in at 5 after Hitesh Modi was injured. Sadly, he only scored 16, but it is early days still for Tanmay Mishra, so watch this space!
Bowls: Right Arm Medium-Fast
One of the 3 players sent to the Youth Training Camp in South Africa, Ngoche is still a bit of an unknown force. Little is known about him other than the facts that he has pace, and can swing the ball. He has been tipped as one of the future mainstays of Kenya's bowling attack, so we shall watch with interest how he performs. So far this year, he has not really been given a real chance. He only got 4 overs in the first match against Zimbabwe, and has been left out since.
Bats: Right Handed
With 23 ODIs under his belt going into Zimbabwe, David does have some experience playing for Kenya. While he has not to date shown any great results - he averages 11.7 with a high score of 57. Fairly successful on the previous visit to Zimbabwe, a good domestic season has paved the way for his recall to the side. One of the players in the squad who I feel needs to step up, or face a future watching from the stands. For a while, he was tipped as Kenya's next wicket Keeper, but with the rise of Ouma he has had to find himself a place as a fielder, something to which he has adapted well. While he did not produce any great performances in either Zimbabwe or Bangladesh, and is a slow starter, he was no worse than any of Kenya's other openers. For this reason, he may called upon again, but will need to improve his technique if he is to survive on the international stage.
Kennedy Otieno Obuya.
Born: March 11, 1972, Nairobi
Bats: Right handed Wicket keeper
ODI debut: India v Kenya at Cuttack - Feb 18, 1996
At 33, and having played 71 ODIs to date, Kennedy is on of Kenya's most experienced players, and good performances from him will be vital if Kenya are to rise again in World cricket. He has an impressive resume against the top nations, having scored centuries against both Australia and Bangladesh, and was instrumental in Kenya reaching the Semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup where he scored half centuries against Sri Lanka and India. Most recently, Kennedy has been in Australia where he spent some time under the tutelage of wicket keeping guru Rod Marsh. He says that this time in Australia has improved all aspects of his game, and came good with 2 half centuries against Zimbabwe, both when Kenya were up against the wall. Unfortunately, he had a nightmare tour to Bangladesh and was dropped for the last game as well as the Intercontinental Cup game vs Holland. This caused him to threaten to never again play for Kenya. Hopefully, he can be persuaded to change his mind on this, as I still feel he has a lot to offer. One of the few Kenyan batsmen who has realised his ability to make big scores, Kenya will need his class over the next year as they consolidate their return to International cricket. Without him, Kenya's top order struggled against Holland, and he is a class above the other openers currently available.
Bats: Right Handed
Bowls: Right Arm Fast-Medium
ODI debut Kenya v South Africa at Nairobi (Gym) - Sep 30, 1999
Without doubt, the find of the year for Kenya. Prior to the Zimbabwe tour, Peter Ongondo had played 22 ODI matches for Kenya in total and taken a total of 7 wickets. At the time I wrote "At first, he would seem a surprising pick for this tour. A closer look at his First class record shows he has greater potential however, and he realised this on the last tour to Zimbabwe. He appears to enjoy the conditions in Harare, and picked up two of his best hauls on the tour: 4-33, and 4-31. Coupled with one of the more successful averages in the NPCA domestic competition, it is easy to see why the selectors decided to give him a further go. Picked primarily as a bowler, he does have the ability to hit the ball hard with the bat, and can get some quick runs at the end of an innings. Zimbabwe's pitches are not ideal for batting, and Ongondo should be aiming to add considerably to his ODI wickets over the next couple of weeks."
Bats: Right Handed
ODI debut: India v Kenya at Southampton - Sep 11, 2004
At 23, and only having played a handful of ODIs for Kenya so far, Maurice is one of the newer players in the Kenyan team. In the last couple of years, he has shown his potential for Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup, and the tour to Zimbabwe at the end of 2005. Rated by Hossain Ayob, the ICC's development manager for Africa as a star in the making in 2004, he has yet to fully realise his potential, but that may be due to lack of matches. With a busy couple of months at the beginning of 2006, he had his chance to make a mark, but sadly failed to produce. If he is to become the player Kenya need at the top of the order, he must turn his frequent starts into big scores, something that has so far mostly eluded him. His best score so far is 78 against Zimbabwe in the 2005 tour, and Kenya will want more of the same if he is to keep his spot. As Kennedy Otieno nears retirement in a couple of years, Ouma seems to be the most obvious potential replacement for him as wicket keeper, and was chosen as first choice for the Intercontinental match against Holland. This move seemed to backfire on the selectors as Maurice failed again, only scoring 10. As one of the better youngsters currently on offer, he will probably get another chance, but has to start getting the runs if he is going to be a long term prospect.
Bats: Left Handed
Bowls: Slow left-arm orthodox
Brijal Patel's inclusion in the side to tour Zimbabwe came as a surprise to many. Initially left out of even the provisional squad, he was called into the nets to provide the batsman practice against left arm bowling. He impressed, and so earned his recall to the team. A poor international record so far - only one 50 from 60 odd innings, means that this year will probably be Patel's last chance to perform for Kenya. I have seen him play, and he has a much better technique and temperament than his figures indicate. He is also a superb fielder, and has probably improved even more under Roger Harper. He has only taken a few wicket with over 1000 odd balls internationally, so again, in terms of bowling, Patel needs to come good or face being replaced. He is a fighter, so it was a shame to see him fall cheaply against Holland. Brijal is right on the edge of the squad at the moment, and will probably feature in the A team tour to Denmark rather than be a first choice for the national team.
Bats: Right Handed.
Bowls: Right Arm Medium.
One of the three Kenyans to benefit from the youth training camp in RSA, Kalpesh Patel is an exciting prospect for Kenyan cricket. A fantastic fielder, he is also very quick between the wickets as a batsman, and will be useful as a middle order player to keep the run rate rattling along. Kalpesh also has the ability to reverse swing the ball, and could develop into a very useful batting all-rounder. Only 20, he has a long time ahead of him playing for Kenya, and his progress shall be watched with interest over the coming years. Andy Moles who coached him in South Africa and praised his temperament and team spirit, regards him very highly. He has not really been given a proper chance this year. Taken on the Zimbabwe tour, he returned home unused - criminal considering the performance of some of the other players he could have replaced. Finally getting a chance against Bangladesh, he made a duck in the second match and for some reason was only bowled for 2 overs. He played the third match, but was again under utilised. 12th man against Holland, he did not get a real chance in that game, so we must continue to wait and see what Kalpesh can do for Kenya. Hopefully more faith will be shown in the youngsters over the course of the year.
Born: February 5, 1976, Nairobi
Bats: Right Handed
Bowls: Right-arm medium
ODI debut Kenya v Pakistan at Nairobi (AK) - Oct 2, 1996
Tony Suji has always been a bit of an enigma to fans of Kenyan cricket. He has never really performed well enough to cement a position in the side, but always does just enough to get selected when a tour comes along. His best performance with the bat was his century against Bermuda in the semi-finals of the Intercontinental Cup last year, and he is reported to have been working more on his batting than bowling. As his bowling has never really impressed, so his improvement with the bat may have been what got him selected. He does have 50 odd ODIs behind him, so experience could count for a lot.
Most previews have mentioned the gulf in experience between the two sides. For the first time in history, Kenya goes into a tie with a more experienced team than their opponent. It sounds like we also have a much more cohesive unit than Zimbabwe, who are reported to be suffering more ructions over the choice of Terry Duffin as captain. All this is good for Kenya, and will stand us in good stead. On the flip side, as Williamson points out, Zimbabwe cannot afford to lose this series. Always be wary of a team with their back to the wall. Kenya's flight to Zimbabwe was also delayed by 9 hours in Nairobi, and they lost most of their nets session yesterday to rain. Hardly ideal preparation. Williamson does not make a prediction for the series citing the number of unknowns in the equation.
In the Nation, Richard Mwangi's article focuses more on the lack of spinners in Kenya's attack for what is supposedly a spinner's wicket. He goes on to give his ideas on the make up of the team:
"Kenya's batting lineup will be spearheaded by the veteran opening batsman Kennedy Obuya who like Tikolo is one of the most experienced players in the side. He is expected to share the wicket with Morris Ouma or his younger brother, David.
Patel is likely to play one down and is expected to be followed by Tikolo, Tony Suji, Thomas Odoyo, Jimmy Kamande, Josephat Ababu, Peter Ong'ondo, Tanmey Mishra, Nehemiah Odhiambo and Kalpesh Patel.
The bowling attack will be led by Luseno, Ong'ondo, Odoyo, Odhiambo, Ababu, Tikolo, Kamande, Patel, Suji, Mishra and Kalpesh"
Kennedy to open, is a fairly obvious choice, and I hope that Ouma, who I believe has the potential to do well for Kenya in this spot, partners him. While Brijal Patel has come in at first drop for Kenya in the past, I think the youngster, Mishra coming in at three, would better serve us. He has shown the ability to cope with the new ball should there be an early wicket, and has the potential to make big scores. Tikolo should keep his position at four - he is comfortable there, and able to turn it on in the middle overs. At 5 and 6, I am split between Odoyo and David Obuya. Obuya is more a specialised batsman, but Odoyo is the more dangerous of the two. I believe he would be better used at 5 rather than lower down the order. At 7 I would have another all-rounder, Brijal Patel, just over Jimmy Kamande. Despite the pitch, I find it difficult to see both of them in the team. It is a tough choice as both are excellent fielders, and have potential with the bat, though they are both at a make or break stage. I go for Patel, as he is a leftie, and has obviously been impressing in the nets to make the squad. He must perform however, or it is time for a replacement. Kalpesh Patel at 8, again as an all-rounder. He is a compact batsman, and has the ability to swing the ball as a bowling option. Of the bowlers, I would like to see Peter Ongondo for his experience, and then 2 out of the youngsters. Probably Luseno and Ngoche (Odhiambo), as they are reputedly the two quickest. Toni Suji would be the all-rounder I would pick as supersub, if one is to be used.
In Summary, my choice for the eleven to take the field:
1.Kennedy Obuya (wkt).
4.Steve Tikolo (Capt.).
5.Thomas Odoyo (V.Capt).
12th man/Super sub: Tony Suji.
This line up gives us batting down to 9, two quick bowlers, 3 other seamers and two spinners. It has experience, plus youth, and should be enough to give Zimbabwe serious trouble. My pick for the result: I have to go Kenya, or I would be a traitor to this site. How much by is difficult to pick without knowing more about the opposition. We comprehensively beat a more experienced line up at the end of last year. We should be able to win today.
Steve Tikolo (captain), Thomas Odoyo (vice-captain), Brijal Patel, Kennedy Obuya, Tony Suji, Peter Ong'ondo, Josephat Ababu, David Tikolo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Alfred Luseno, Morris Ouma, Kalpesh Patel, Jimmy Kamande, Tanmay Mishra
Terrence Duffin (capt), Elton Chigumbura, Keith Dabengwa, Ryan Higgins, Anthony Ireland, Blessing Mahwire, Hamilton Masakadza, Keegan Meth, Waddington Mwayenga, Edward Rainsford, Piet Rinke, Gregory Strydom, Brendan Taylor and Prosper Utseya
Friday, February 24, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Bangladesh's 4-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI at Bogra is a great result for World Cricket. While officially a Test team, Bangladesh are still regarded by many as a minnow in cricket terms. Any time such a team has a victory over a higher placed team, it benefits cricket as a whole. Last year they beat Australia, this year Sri Lanka. Things are definitely on the way up for the Tigers, and other developing cricket nations can take heart from this win. Give the minnows more games, and they will start to win a greater percentage. I will not go further into it, as I don't want to stoke their confidence too much ahead of the Kenya tour, but well-done Bangladesh. Now all we need is for Kenya to follow suit in Zimbabwe.
"If we are going to play the same team we met last year, then Zimbabwe should brace themselves for a tough competition,"
He said. Tikolo is also impressed with Coach Roger Harper, and what he has achieved since joining the team. Zimbabwe will be the first real test of Harper as coach for Kenya. On the make up of Kenya's team, Tikolo noted that it was a great chance for the newer players to show their worth:
"This time, the selection was done when some regular players have injuries which gives the youngsters an opportunity to prove themselves,"
Confidence is great ahead of a series, and Steve Tikolo is an experienced enough player and captain to know how much to instil in his players. Too much could be costly however, as Kenya have found out before (Champions Trophy 2004). Tikolo, and the other mainstays, will also need to act as shepherd for the younger players to get them accustomed to the rigours of touring. We lost out in the finals of the Intercontinental Cup last year partly due to player fatigue, and that is something we must guard against in the coming month. This is one of the factors that has been stressed by Roger Harper, who has warned his players against alcohol on the tour, noting that it dehydrates and contributes to physical stress. It is positive to see the coach's professional approach, and it seems like this is rubbing off on the players as well, a fact that the captain also acknowledges:
"His work ethic is very professional which is good for the boys,"
This next month will be a big transition for Kenyan cricket, and how the team handles it will be crucial for the future of cricket in the country. It is early days yet, but so far, the signs are promising. Now all they have to do is deliver the results on the pitch.
Quotes taken from Richard Mwangi's article in today's Nation.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
With no disrespect meant to these latter, I am surprised to see them in the squad for different reasons. Jimmy Kamande has had a good domestic season, but has in the past had trouble with his bowling action, and has spent some time in the doldrums as a result. If he has straightened himself out, he is a class fielder, and will give Kenya a solid all round option. If not, this could be his last hurrah. Tony Suji has been one of Kenya's trenchermen, but has never to my mind set the World on fire. It may be that he is selected more for his batting, which seems to have improved of late, that his bowling, which at times lacks the penetration and accuracy of his brother Martin. Finally I am surprised to see Brijal Patel simply because he was not mentioned in the original squad. It is good to see him in the team, as I think he adds sand to the batting order, as well as giving another bowling option, a combination which helps fill the void left by Maurice Odumbe. He does however need to start making some big scores for Kenya, something that he most certainly has the talent to do.
For every player selected, there are always those who feel disappointed to have missed out. Martin Suji and Lameck Onyango are two of the main omissions due to injury, though both are hoping to be fit in time for Bangladesh. It is up to the youngsters selected to prove that they are worth retaining if and when these two return. Ravindu Shah continues to be MIA due to his knee, and one must surely wonder if his career can recover from so long without playing. He will be sorely missed, as he was a genuinely class act with the bat, one of Kenya's best technicians. One of the big names to miss out is Collins Obuya. He is staying behind to work on his action, which has never really recovered since his injury while playing for Warwickshire. Hopefully, he can build on what he learnt under Terry Jenner, as Kenya would really benefit from him back at his best and in the side. Others who have been left at home, but I'm sure will feature in the future are youngsters Ragab Aga, Amit Bhudia, Rajesh Bhudia, Ashish Karia, Peter Kituku and Malhar Patel. All of these have talent, and will no doubt continue to snap at the heels of those selected. They need to put aside the initial disappointment and concentrate on improving in time for the next selection.
For those selected, this is the end of a long time waiting in the wings. They should have the hunger and drive to succeed, and they have shown they have the talent. It is a long overdue return to international cricket for Kenya, and the chance must be seized with both hands. Good luck to Steve Tikolo and his men.
On Saturday, Cockenbach CC took on the N.A.C Under 17 side in a 40 over match . N.A.C won the toss and elected to field. It may have been a decision they regretted, as Cockenbach's two openers J. Walter and M.Beedell proved more than able to deal with the new ball, both striking half-centuries. Indeed, N.A.C struggled with the ball throughout the innings, only restricting one of the visiting batsmen to less than 10, and that was C.Thomson who was run out by Pradeep for 5. Pradeep was the pick of the fielders for N.A.C, involved in a second run out, as well as taking Cockenbach's number 3, A.Eve, caught and bowled. At the end of their 40 overs, the visitors had put on 259 for the loss of only 5 wickets.
The youngsters struggled in reply, with wickets falling at an alarming rate. Only three batsmen were able to get starts, and unfortunately none were able to convert them to the big score that N.A.C needed to stay in the match. N.A.C's highest scorer was Trushit who made a battling 47 before falling caught and bowled to Walters, who was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets. In the end, N.A.C managed to reach 187 all out, a loss of 72 runs. While the result was not what the youngsters would have hoped for, it will have given them much needed experience against more seasoned players. They will improve with more matches like this, and we may yet see some of them in action for Kenya in the future.
Sunday saw the N.A.C senior side play host to Ipplepen CC, again in a 40 overs a-side contest. This time it was the visitors who won the toss, and not having learnt from the day before, elected to field. Again, it proved a mistake. A fiery 64 from Dilip, and good starts from Harshil, Minesh, Vimal and Jogesh taking N.A.C to a formidable looking 9 for 286. Chasing 7 runs an over was always going to be a tough task for the tourists, and some excellent bowling from the N.A.C soon put paid to any hopes of them overhauling the target. Vimal was especially impressive in carving through the middle order - He bowled Wakeham for 7, Harvey for 1, Charlie for 8 and W.Goose for 1, after Ghanshyam had done the damage at the top of the order. In the end, it was an easy defence for the hosts, winning by 188 runs in the 34th over.
Attention in Nakuru will now turn to the provincial limited overs tournament which is due to start very soon. I will keep you posted as I get news from a very reliable Shailesh in Nakuru (hint, hint those of you in Mombasa who are the only province yet to make contact…)
Kenyan Selectors have announced a 14 man squad to tour Zimbabwe. While some of the players are as expected, there are also a couple of surprises.
KENYA SQUAD FOR THE ZIMBABWE TOUR:
STEPHEN TIKOLO (C), THOMAS ODOYO, BRIJAL PATEL, KENNEDY OTIENO OBUYA, TONY SUJI, PETER ONGONDO, JOSEPHAT ABABU, DAVID OBUYA, NEHEMIAH ODHIAMBO NGOCHE, ALFRED LUSENO, MORRIS OUMA, KALPESH PATEL, JIMMY KAMANDE, TANMAY MISHRA. MANAGER:- DAVINDER BHARIJ, COACH :- ROGER HARPER, PHYSIO: BERNARD ONDENG
Monday, February 20, 2006
I was struck by a couple of things, and neither made me feel very happy. Basically, Kenya needs a couple of players who can achieve and maintain decent averages both with the bat, and ball.
Kenya's best batsman, Steve Tikolo, only averages 28, and only himself and Kennedy Otieno of the present crop have made centuries in ODIs. Kenya's average score in ODIs is 182, while our opponents average 213. It is a similar situation with our bowlers: Only Thomas Odoyo and Martin Suji average less than 5 runs an over, and the best average is again Tikolo with 38 balls per wicket. We must learn to be much more economical with our bowling, and need to find the penetration to get through opposing line-ups.
Tikolo, and several other of the Kenyan batsmen are, I believe, better than their current averages show. This tour has to be the time to start to put this right - the better players out there are averaging 40 plus, and Kenya needs a couple of batsmen to do this for us on a regular basis. Our bowlers need to reduce their runs per over to around 4, and get their averages down into the twenties. If someone can step up to the mark and achieve this in the coming series, it will make life a lot easier in terms of Kenya winning matches.
It is also disconcerting to see that almost all of Kenya's better partnerships have included players who have since left the team. Again, a perfect chance for some of the youngsters to step up, or the established players to make up some lost ground. We are a better team than our stats and history show, lets hope we can prove this over the next couple of months.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Luuk van Troost (c), Jeroen Smits (vc), Daan van Bunge, Ryan ten Doeschete, Victor Grandia, Tom de Grooth, Bas Zuiderant, Muhammad Kashif, Billy Stelling, Alexei Kervezee, Tim de Leede, Edgar Schiferli, Darron Reekers, Pieter Seelaar
From Bensti's post in Big Cricket
NPCA 45 Overs Tournament, 19th Feb:
Oshwal XI vs Kanbis 'A' at Eastleigh Secondary School
Parklands SC Ndovus vs Kanbis 'B' at Simba Union
SCLYLA vs Simba Union at Pindolia Academy
Ruaraka vs Swamibapa 'A' at Ruaraka
Ngara vs Premier Club at Ngara
Sir Ali 'A' vs Parklands SC Rhinos at Sir Ali
Nairobi Jaffery vs Kongonis at Jaffery
Swamibapa 'B' vs Sir Ali 'B' at premier Club
Quitbis vs Krishna XI at Seifee Park
Aga Khan vs Stray Lions at Aga Khan
Nbi Nookers vs Nbi Institute at Nbi School
Golden XI vs Nbi Gymkhana at Highridge Pr. School
There is also action at Nakuru this weekend with the two touring teams from the UK, Cockenach CC and Ipplepen C.C due to play a Nakuru side yesterday and today respectively.
Good on the ICC. I said in my last post on the subject that something should be done about Zimbabwe Cricket's cavalier approach to anyone but themselves, and it seems like cricket bosses in Dubai had the same idea. We are back to having a full 5 match series, and the ICC have risen in my estimation. Zimbabwe's reasoning for cancelling two of the matches was supposedly 'financial'; they clarified this by saying they could not afford to provide TV coverage for the third umpire. The fact that Kenya could well win the series, and leapfrog them on the table had "nothing" to do with it. Of course it didn't. So when it was pointed out that as Kenya is an associate, so TV coverage is not needed, well the reason just seemed to slip away. Ozias Bvute is also reported to have come under a lot of pressure in Dubai over Zimbabwe Crickets handling of the two tours. This is excellent news for the Kenyan team that should have been named yesterday - I will post it as soon as I know. The squad has been training hard under coach Roger Harper, and his views on the make up of the team are welcoming:
"Let me put it this way, what the Kenyan team needs is having the best players playing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the veterans who have been there a long time or the fresh faces playing. What matters is getting your best players to represent Kenya fully."
Absolutely right, and especially with the ramifications of a good result on this tour. If Kenya have a winning tour to Zimbabwe, it will force them to have to play in the Bangladesh tri-series or risk losing out to both teams. Harper has been concentrating training on getting the players back to a fitness level where they can focus for long periods during a game. He has said that the lack of match practice is a worry, but that not having played means the players are hungry and are raring to go. The upcoming tour will be a litmus test of how well the training has gone, and will give us a good idea of what the future hold under his tutelage.
Harper is keen that cricket is expanded outside the main hubs, and is optimistic about the future of the game in the country:
"We have young talent but we need to train them how to apply their skills more effectively. If we implement a proper development programme, to train and shape properly mentally, giving them focus, the right attitude to the game and application of their skills then we shall be up there with the best."
Bring on the 23rd! -This will be a very interesting tour indeed.