Saturday, May 06, 2006

Leading Averages in Akshar League

With 6 matches having been played, the leading figures so far for the Akshar League are as follows. Bear in mind that all teams except for Akshar A and Naivasha have played 2 games.


  1. Sunil.......(Akshar B)......81...............40.5
  2. Dilip.......(Akshar A)......33...............33
  3. Marvin...(Akshar B)......29...............29
  4. Dilpesh..(Kericho).........57...............28.5
  5. Jignesh..(Diamond)......28...............28
  6. Harsil.....(Akshar A)......27...............27
  7. Jogesh....(Akshar A)......25...............25
  8. Lalji........(Kericho)........24*.............24+
  9. Dhiren....(Kericho)........24...............24
  10. Kirti........(VOC).............23...............23

BOWLING (total wickets taken only):


  1. Tejash...................(Eldoret).........9
  2. Batuk....................(VOC)..............7
  3. Ravi......................(Akshar B)......6
  4. Ghanshayam........(Akshar A).....6
  5. Ketan....................(VOC).............5
  6. Jignesh.................(Kericho)........5
  7. Snehal...................(Eldoret)........5
  8. Vimal....................(Diamond).....5
  9. Shahbaz................(Naivasha).....4
  10. Shanti...................(VOC).............4
  11. Raju......................(Diamond).....4
  12. Kaku.....................(Diamond).....4

Obviously with only a couple of matches being played by each team, and some players only having one innings, these results are somewhat skewed, but they should hopefully straighten out over the rest of the season.

Akshar League Preview

With last week's match between Akshar 'A' and Naivasha being re-scheduled due to the rugby festival, the third round of the Akshar League will begin before the second round is completed. Sunday's match sticks to the origional schedule with VOC taking on the Diamond team. V.O.C's last outing was a thrashing at the hands of Akshar A, so they will be looking to get back into a winning vein against a Diamond team that have so far recorded two losses from two outings. On paper, and form this looks like an easy win for VOC. They have both played Akshar B with VOC winning, while Diamond lost.
Regarding the match itself, both teams have struggled with the bat, so if one or two players can get a decent score, it could well prove to be the difference. Diamond actually look like the team more likely to do this, with 4 players who have at least had starts. From VOC, it is only Kirti who has really managed to trouble the scorers so far. Bowling wise, Batuk has bowled well for VOC in their earlier matches, and they will be looking for him to get some early wickets. Diamond will need one of their bowlers to find some consistency. They have 3 who have so far taken 4 wickets in one match, but hardly featured in the other. Without knowing how much the rugby affected the outfield, I would guess that this will be a low scoring match. My prediction - VOC to win fairly easily.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cricket World Cup Tickets On Sale

Tickets for The World Cup to be held in the West Indies next year are now on sale. There are several different options fans can take. They can either choose to buy tickets for individual matches, or can opt to go for a package either following your team all the way to the final, or watching all of the matches in their group.
For Kenya supporters, the prices are as follows:
Group matches (individual tickets).
March 14th vs Canada: Cat 1 - $50, Cat 2 - $30, Cat 3 - $15, Party Stand - $30
March 20th vs New Zealand: (prices same as vs Canada).
March 24th vs England: CAt 1 - $90, Cat 2 - $55, Cat 3 - $25, P.S - $80.
Follow every match in Group:
Cat 1 - $420, Cat 2 - $255. Cat 3 - $120, Party Stand - $390.
Follow Kenya From Group Stage To Finals (for the optimistic):
Cat 3 - $355, Party Stand - $1050.
Follow Kenya From Super 8 Stage To Finals (and miss the fun of the group stage???):
Cat 3 - $300, Party Stand - $870.
For a complete list of Categories, packages and prices, check out the official website.
No doubt there will also be various travel agents doing trip packages that include flights etc, so do your research before you book. Lets hope that work and finances allow lots of Kenyans to be there to support the team!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mozambique Win Africa Division II World Cup Qualifiers

I am a bit late on posting this, but Mozambique defeated Sierra Leone in the final of the 2011 Africa Division 2 World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Benoni, South Africa. Ghana took home the bronze medal having defeated Malawi in the playoff for third place. Mozambique will now join Zambia, Botswana and Nigeria, plus hosts Tanzania in the next division which will be played in August. With Kenya's new status as the Centre for our region, Cricket Kenya would do well to start by helping Tanzania prepare for this tournament. It would be a great chance to give our youngsters more exposure, and a taste of playing against another national side. Sending an A team, or even an U19 would certainly be in the interests of both countries, and would hardly break the bank.
UPDATE 4/5/06 pm:
There is a post on Big Cricket by Covenant that lists the complete results from this tournament. I could link to the ICC page, but they don't have scorecards anyhow, and Covenant has done the hard work in tracking them down.

Kenya Made Regional Centre For East and Central Africa

According to the Nation who have been speaking to Samir Inamdar, Kenya has been made the Regional Centre for East and Central Africa by the Africa Cricket Association during the meeting in South Africa over the weekend. As a result of this, Kenya will be hosting an U15 event which will bring together teams from the region. No dates are mentioned in the article, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. While Kenya was the obvious choice for this position, it does make official our responsibility to the other countries in the region. Aside from the moral obligations, it makes sense for Kenya to try to lift the standards of our neighbours. They will be the cheapest places for development teams to tour, and the higher their standards, the better it will help the Kenyan players who play against them.
Inamdar has also told the Nation that the Africa Cup will be held in South Africa in December. Teams that will take part are South Africa 'A', Zimbabwe 'A', Kenya, Uganda and Namibia. Nothing is mentioned about the format of this competition, but it will certainly give Kenya a good warm up before hosting Scotland in January. There is also the definite possibility of Kenya winning this event, which would be a great boost before the ICC World League, also in January.
Great to see some coverage of cricket by the Nation, who also made note of Kenya being given the U19 WC in yesterday's paper. Today's article also notes the Jenner Clinic and the possibility of Bangladesh touring. WE knew that anyway, but at least they are now giving cricket a bit more attention. It would be really nice if they could now focus a bit more on the domestic scene...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Other Sites - Asante

Just thought that I should acknowlege a couple of sites that have linked to here from posts in the last week.
Sportolysis has launched a new feature this week called decalink. Basically, he chooses ten articles on sports related matters a week to link to. The first decalink came out on Monday and kenyacricket got a mention for my article on the new sports bill, so thanks for that. Afromusing picked up on my non-cricket post for the week with my tirade against the MPs joking about the sexual offences bill (which did not get published by the way).
Kenya soccer continues to keep up to date on the domestic game - more than I have been able to achieve last week, but not through want of trying. Keep it up guys.
I have also added a couple of new links to the cricket blogs section. Nasir Khan gives a good read with his opinions of all levels of cricket, as does Andrew on Baseball on Valium. The main BoV site also has an up-to-date profile on Kenya's performance over the years.

Bangladesh May Tour Kenya

According to this report on Cricinfo, Bangladesh are keen to play a three match One Day series in Kenya en route to Zimbabwe in July. Both boards appear keen, so without counting the eggs too soon, it seems the national side could be back in action before the trip to Canada at the end of July. With the Bangladesh A team also due to tour Zimbabwe before the full team, it would be great if Kenya could also get them to stop over for a couple of four day matches. More ODIs is great, and will only help strengthen the Kenya side, but the experience from playing the longer version is priceless. With the touted tour of Uganda and A team tour of Denmark ahead, a visit by Bangladesh will certainly neatly fill up a gap in the calendar, and should help keep the team in form.
For Kenya, hosting Bangladesh makes sense. First it will be a chance to redeem ourselves from the 4-0 whitewash when we toured them. While it is still very early since then, Roger Harper will by now have a much clearer picture on who he can expect to fit into his plans for the future, and will have had longer to work with the team and improve technique. Every time Kenya plays one of the better teams, our players learn and improve, so even if the results are not what we want from this tour, at least the team will come out of it playing better. Then from a publicity point of view, it will be a great way to promote the game within Kenya. Ideally it would be great to have at least one of the proposed matches played in Mombasa, but how this will work logistically will depend on the tour dates.
For Bangladesh, it will be a handy warm up before Zimbabwe, and I'm sure they will also be looking on it as an opportuntiy to earn some more points on the ODI rankings table. The task ahead of Steve Tikolo and the team is to ensure that Kenya spring a surprise on home soil and earn a few points of our own.
Fingers crossed that this goes ahead. It is about time Kenya got to play some home games against one of the Test sides, and it reflects well on Bangladesh that they are willing to support the Associates in their efforts to improve. Let's hope we get confirmation of this soon.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Jaffery win NPCA 6-A-Side

Unofficial news has managed to bypass the information guzzling goat in the Indian Ocean via Nakeel, (who is an absolute angel and legend). She tells me that Nairobi Jaffery were the winners of this weekend's 6-a-side tournament in Nairobi. I would love to have this officially confirmed, but still not a squeak from the NPCA.
I find it very strange, and not a little irritating that with so much going on in Kenyan cricket that we are not seeing and hearing more in the news. Despite a 3-day festival of cricket going on in Nairobi, not a single one of the leading Dailies carried anything on their online sites. They may have done in print, but in an era when so many get their information from the internet, that is simply not good enough. It is exceedingly vexing to read a report on a Kenyan newsite about the English Premier League or West Indies vs Zimbabwe ODI, when both are easily accessible on plenty of other sites around the World, many of whom the articles are borrowed from anyway. Meanwhile the news we really want to see - i.e what is happening in terms of domestic KENYAN sport, is left out.
Not only was the six-a-side tournament being played in Nairobi, but Cricket Kenya's two top officials were in South Africa trying to further Kenya's standing at the ACA meeting. True, the Nation did carry a story the day they left, but since then nothing has been reported at all. Was the trip a success? Did they get the backing they were after? What effect will it have on Kenya's future? Who knows - it has not been reported on.
Announced in the Ugandan press, and on international websites was an upcoming tour of Uganda at the end of May. Again, nothing in the Kenyan press at all. Indeed, I have yet to see official confirmation of the tour from the Kenyan authorities.
Finally was the news that Kenya have been chosen to host the Under 19 World Cup. One would have thought that an event of this magnitude at least would get a mention by the Kenyan press. After all, this event has not only seen the unveiling of such great talents as Brian Lara, but will bring 16 teams of the World's best young cricketers to Kenya to experience our hospitality. One would have thought that such a prestige event would be reported on with glee. Yet what has been written in the Kenyan on-line media? Not a jot.
This sort of apathy toward what is Kenya's best performing team sport is worrying. If Kenya's sports editors truly do not care about cricket, then maybe they should be giving their jobs to someone else. If they do care, but are being influenced by more sinister forces, then serious steps need to be taken to ensure that news reaches the public and fans.
This is where the silence from the administrators is puzzling. There are obvious reasons I am not running any form of cricket in Kenya, but if I was, raising the image of the game in the public eye would be a major priority. If I was holding a 3-day festival, I would make damn sure that it was promoted and written about in the daily press. It is not enough in the modern World to have a good product. For it to succeed, it must be advertised well and heavily. Only with lots of promotion will a product, be it toothpaste, a car or a sport succeed in a competetive market. Currently, cricket should be in a strong position to make inroads on its competitors. It is under new management which has backing both financial and conceptual from the international body. It is a sport where we have qualified to play in the World Cup. It is a sport with a full and concrete list of international fixtures with the possibility of others to come. More than that, its opponents are weak. Other sports are still suffering from mismanagment and corruption while cricket is beginning to put that behind it and focus on improving the future. This position needs to be exploited. Kenya's cricket administrators must make an effort to publicise the game. If they do, the rewards could be substantial. If they don't it will be yet another catch put down in the outfield, and we will be forced to watch others overtake us. I know which fork of the road I would prefer us to go down.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Kenya To Host 2010 U19 World Cup

Latest news from the ICC homepage indicates that Kenya will play host to the top youngsters in the World in February 2010. Malasia have been picked to host the 2008 event, and then Canada and UAE the next two in 2012 and 2014. The announcements come together with a string of other events hosted by various of the Associate members and seem to back up the ICC's stance on spreading the game. It is a positive step by them, and will make a huge difference to the countries chosen as hosts. It is good to see the efforts of the Associates being recognised. On the teams selected to host the U19 WC, Ehsan Mani said:
"All four members have sufficient grounds and turf pitches and these events will provide impetus for the continued growth of the sport in these four geographically spread countries".
And on Kenya:
"Kenya has also hosted an ICC Trophy and has extensive experience of hosting events involving Full Members including the ICC Knock-out in 2000."
This is very positive news for Kenya and gives local fans something to look forward to after Nairobi hosts the 'Mini World Cup' next February. Both events mean that Cricket Kenya will need to spend money on infastructure to ensure Kenya puts on a good show. We need to prove to the World that our groundsmen are capable of providing quality turf pitches, and that our administration are up to the task of organising big tournaments. True we have done it in the past, but it has not always been the bed of roses some would have us believe. Indeed it was alleged financial irregularities in a home tournament that led to Sharad Ghai's trial earlier this year. After the mess made by the KCA in the last couple of years, Kenyan Cricket has a thing or two to prove to the World. Hosting these tournaments will go a long way towards doing that.
In terms of the effect it will have on the domestic game, both events are a huge chance to popuralise the sport. Managed correctly, there is no reason why there should not be full houses at every match, and real interest in the game built up. Cricket Kenya needs to have the infastructure of the domestic game at a level to take advantage of this. Youngsters are going to want to learn to play the game, and they must be accomodated. Wanainchi must be encouraged to support the game, not only for these international events, but also at a domestic level. In short, interest must be built to fever pitch before and during the events, then this needs to be maintained. It is a tall ask I know, but how many well organised sports events do Kenyans get a chance to experience on home soil. Not a lot. If Cricket Kenya can show they have what it takes to be successful in managing these events, they will gain a lot of supporters. Lets hope Samir Inamdar and his team have what it takes to make the most of these wonderful opportunities.

Fairburn Pipped

Continuing the theme of keeping up with Kenyan linked players abroad, here is James Clegg's report on how his Fairburn team went over the weekend:
"Well what a turn in fortunes from last week. This time I do get the runs, and then the team go on and lose. On a small pitch, against a strong Netherton CC batting lineup, I lost the toss, and was forced to field. Netherton's batsman all came to the party contributing to give Netherton CC a score of 205-8 of their 44 overs.

In reply, I got off 2 a very "unclegglike" start - (aggressive and fluent), hitting 12 off my first 6 balls. Ian Jones & I put on 40 for the first wicket in good time, before Jones got caught behind. A few overs later, and a few more weak dismissals, meant we were soon 60-3: it was becoming increasingly clear, I had to come through here! I continued to score quickly, first clipping a 4, then pulling my next delivery for 6, at last I'm going to past 50 and then be running around Netherton, with my bat in the air and another win chalked up. Ohh What A Beautiful Game...

Next ball, with the adrenaline coursing through my veins, I went to play a lofted on drive, being caught 2 inches off the ground for 45, WHAT HAD I DONE!

Unfortunatly, we went onto lose by 7 runs, with plenty of overs to spare. After 2 weeks, we lie second in the week Cookridge away!".
Hitesh Modi's side, Chesham are not due to start playing until this week - the first team have a home friendly against Chenies & Latimer on Saturday. Whether his finger is mended well enough to play will be another story. Lets hope so.
Another Kenyan overseas is former MSC batsman Amit Bhudia, who is reportedly turning out for Herning in the Danish 2nd Division. Hopefully we can get some news from that part of the World as well.
If anyone else knows of any other Kenyans playing abroad, let me know so I can keep updated on their progress.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Information Vortex Goat

Somewhere between Kenya and Australia, possibly caused by a deep-sea mountain in the Indian ocean, there is a goat that lives in a Black Hole that sucks in information and prevents it from reaching these shores. I know this because there are cricket matches going on over there. For example, there is a six-a-side tournament going on in Nairobi right now. Teams have won matches. Some have lost matches. Possibly someone has covered themselves with glory and taken lots of wickets or scored lots of runs. An umpire has probably made a mistake or two, and several spectators have drunk too much Tusker and eaten too much pili pili mango. It is 2am in Nairobi, but they are still awake making sure the toilet seat is kept warm. There are at least sixteen teams taking part. lots of cricket is being played, and heaps of statistics are being created.
This tournament must be being followed by the press in Kenya. I know this because the Sports Editor of the Nation has assured me that they are quality journalists who care about Kenyan sport. Quality journalists would not let a 3-day festival of cricket comprising 16(+) of Kenya's top teams go un-reported. Would they? Surely not. So it stands to reason there have been articles written about it, and scores published. However, no matter how many variations I try on internet search engines, I only come up with one site that mentions the tournament - this one. My ego thinks this is a good thing; it likes being the top listed item on a google search. The rest of me is considerably less impressed. There are also sources in Nairobi in whose interest it is to keep me informed. That way, I promote the game, and other people get to follow what is happening as well. I have also heard nothing from them.
In Benoni, South Africa, another tournament has been going on. It is between Africa's second division Affiliate sides who are fighting it out for a place in the next round of qualifiers for the 2011 World Cup. It is an ICC organised event. It even has its own web page. Again though, results seem to be hard to find. Big Cricket, does have some, and a link to a Ghanaian site with a story, but again, one would expect the ICC to put out more information that at first seems to be available.
In summary: the facts of the case are that there is cricket going on in Africa. There is information there about it (have you ever known an event organiser that doesn't want to publicise it?). It does not however reach Australia for me to pass on.
Rule 1 of being a detective: Remove all other possibilities and what you are left with, however unlikely, must be the truth (thanks Sherlocke Holmes). Therefore, I conclude that there must be some sort of Bermuda Triangle type of phenomenomenomenum between here and there. Possibly operated by an evil grey-haired mastermind stroking some sort of aquatic white cat. It is probably riding a goat which is eating the information - they are the only creature that eat anything. Right now it is garnishing the results from Pool-A with a side serving of Mungai's underpants stolen from the washing line.
So, my conclusion: There is a Triangular Vortex Aquatic Goat being ridden by Dr Evil swimming about in the Indian Ocean consuming information meant for this website. It must be. Logic says so. QED. Put-that-in-your-pipe-and-smoke-it-Mr-Officer-does-your-head-go-all-the-way-up-inside-your-hat!?! My mission is to destroy this agent of satan. I will prevail, and we shall celebrate with nyama choma and tusker baridi. Hold the pili pili mango.