Friday, August 31, 2007

Warning bells continue to toll

First to Kenya's defeated Under 19 team: Tough luck, you almost made it. keep your heads up and train hard, for you are still the future of Kenyan cricket and you will always have our support.

Unfortunately they came up against a Namibian team that had got better with each match of the tournament they played. Kenya did not exactly get worse, but they failed to build the momentum that the Namibians did and in the end that rather than any difference in talent was their undoing.

This is now the third time that Kenya has failed to qualify for the Under 19 world Cup and the countries administrators need to wake up and sort out the domestic situation in the country so our best players (at both senior and junior levels) play each other regularly. They also need to sort out the situation with schools cricket and make sure that it becomes the vibrant feeder to the club scene that it used to be. Unless this happens, and happens soon, Kenya are going to not only slip further behind the Test teams, but we will be in danger of being overtaken by the chasing pack.

One thing that the tournament in Benoni showed was that (bar last placed Nigeria), all the associate and affiliate teams in Africa are on a marked improvement curve. This is because plain and simply, they are investing time and money in improving their youth set ups. I have said this before several times, and I say it again now - Kenya cannot afford to rest on her laurels. We must do everything in our power to promote the game at home and ensure that we not only stay ahead of the chasing pack, but stretch that lead.

Over to you Cricket Kenya.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Go the Under 19s!

With most of the sports pages tomorrow (and for the next few days) devoted to Kenya's hunt for medals in Osaka, it is likely that another group of Kenyans will slip quietly under the radar as they try and qualify for their own World Championship.

I talk of course of the Kenyan Under 19 cricket team, who got their campaign off against Namibia today. I am posting results and write-ups on CricketEurope, so I won't repeat myself, but will send this thought: COME ON THE KENYA UNDER 19s!

Not for one moment am I saying forget our athletes - How good was it to see Luke Kibet cross the line to give Kenya the first Gold of the games by breaking such a long drought! While you are cheering them on however, spare a thought for our boys in Benoni. If they can win, it could usher in a whole new era for Kenyan cricket and how good would it be to have a Kenyan team sport on the rise again.