Friday, December 01, 2006

Tikolo talks it up

Kenya's captain has been talking to the standard, and has his eyes firmly set on reaching the second round of the World Cup in the West Indies. While expressing confidence about beating Canada, Kenya will also need to beat either England or New Zealand to get through to the group stage. Tikolo knows that Kenya will need to be at their best to do so:
"We’ll have to raise our game a notch higher to be able to beat England or New Zealand. Both have balanced sides, who are good with the ball and the bat, but our team has some good upcoming players who are up to the task," he said.
looking at the performance so far of Canada, it is easy to see why the captain is upbeat about our chances against them, but we must guard agaist over complacency. January and the WCL will see us play them again before we meet them in St Lucia, so that match will take on added importance. A win would be a big psychological blow for Kenya, but when it comes down to it, the World Cup game will be the one that counts. If Tikolo's aims are to come to fruition, it will be a match we cannot lose.
In the interview, Tikolo mentions "scrappy" preparations, but the facts are that this time around, Kenya will actually be much better prepared. We have played many more ODIs over the last year than we even thought about prior to 2003 and the Intercontinental Cup games and Winter Training Camp will have given a much needed boost in techniques.
Between now and the start of the World Cup, Kenya play 11, hopefully 12 ODIs (depending on qualifying for the WCL final). One of these will be against the Windies in Jamaica as part of the official warm up games, the rest will be against Associate opposition. There are pros and cons to this, the most obvoius being that Kenya really do not play any matches against teams of the same percieved quality as England and New Zealand until that game in Jamaica. There are however positives. One is that associate cricket continues to improve, so the gulf is not as great as many, including I'd say the Test teams, think. Second, Kenya should win the majority of those games. If they do this, they will go into the World Cup on a roll and knowing what it feels like to win. Last time, it was our team spirit that helped get us through. If we can reproduce that and couple it with the improvements, there is no reason we cannot upset at least one Test side come March. It will take hard work, but Tikolo and Roger Harper the coach know that. Lets just hope they can back up the talk with success on the pitch.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Kricket 4 Kenya

I came across the link to this fantastic site on the Friends of Kenya Cricket - UK site that has finally been updated (if only Cricket Kenya would follow suite!).
Basically, Kricket 4 Kenya is a new charity set up in th UK to collect sporting equipment, especially cricket gear, for under-privileged children in Kenya. It has been set up by MWR Solicitors in response to the current humanitarian situation in kenya and if you live in in England, it needs your support. If you do not have any equipment to donate, you can still help: Talk about it, tell your friends, let your local school know. It will end up making a huge difference to the children in Kenya and will hopefully help to bring on a new generation of Kenyan players who will now have a chance rather than nothing.
Kricket 4 Kenya has the backing of Cricket Kenya, so get in touch and 'Be a sport and donate today'.
For those of you in Sydney, Australia who would like to help, we are also collecting, so drop me a line (the email link is in the 'profile page').
Note: I am not officially linked with K4K, but it is a bloody good idea and as we had already recieved some donations here, hopefully we can join forces.