Saturday, February 17, 2007

I disagree Mr Captain

Steve Tikolo's assertion in an interview with the Standard that the Kenya team players were justified is holding a one day strike on Wednesday over the match fees from the canceled match against Canada could not be further off the mark. I have immense respect for Tikolo and what he has achieved in cricket both for himself and his country, but it is high time that Kenya's leading players realised that strikes should be an absolute last resort. Holding to ransom a body that has just confirmed it will pay you $5000 is poor enough form, but the potential damage the players did to themselves in the long run is far worse. All over a payment for a game they did not actually play. True, they did the hard work in training for it etc, but it should be noted that they were still paid their daily allowance for that day, it was only the actual match fee that was withheld.
Tikolo's view was that they had done the hard work in training for the match, so should be paid anyway sounds in a way fair enough, but if Cricket Kenya got no income from the match, where does the money come from? Already some of the administrators have dug into their own pockets to keep the team afloat and in training while a sponsor is found. Striking does not help this search. All it does is give potential investors a reason not to support the game. Not a good long term strategy for the players at all, especially when they are dependednt on this to remain full time cricketers. I have already said my piece on this here on cricketEurope yesterday, and Martin Williamson also makes the point on cricinfo. Unfortunatley, the Nation continues to lose credibility in terms of cricket coverage with a bizarre article by Sulubu Tuva who starts well, but then gets carried away insinuating it was players and not the Ghai led KCA that lead to the 'strike culture'. Considering that the players would not have had to take this action if millions of shillings had not disappeared and sponsors been scared off due to financial irregularities, this is a perplexing point of view. Note also that if the KCA had not blocked private companies from investing in schools cricket during the wrangles, there would still be an active program running now and the number of cricketers (and hence attractiveness to sponsors) would be about doubled.
the good thing out of this is that it was handled well by Cricket Kenya and that everyone is now keen to put it behind them. So long as the players do not continue this sort of nonsense in the future.
Samir Inamdar has made it clear that Cricket Kenya will use some of the sponsorship money to give contracts to leading players and he reiterates this and the administration's plans for the games development in an excellent interview by Oscar Pilipili in the Standard. hopefully this is the article sponsors will pay most attention to, because as Pilipili's heading so rightly puts it, 'Local cricket is on the right track'.