Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What is happening to Cricket in Kenya?

Hot on the back of Kenya only just scraping into the World Cup comes the news that Kenya U19s have just lost the first game of the Africa Zone WC qualifiers to Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone are a nation that have hardly put down their weapons from fighting a civil war long enough to learn how to play the game. Yet they restricted Kenya to an embarrassing 109 in 40 overs, then knocked off the runs in 30 overs to win by 4 wickets.

EDIT: As much of the scorecard as I can find:
Kenya vs Sierra Leone
Played @ Centrals Sports Club
Kenya won the toss, elected to bat.
Kenya 109/10 in 40 overs
Kaul 22 (53), Patel 22 (50) - EDIT - Kaul was originally put as "Kane" on the scorecard. Patel must be Keval Patel.
Kabia 5 for 23 of 10 overs
Sierra Leone 110/6 30
Ansumana 25 NO (42), J Mansary 29 (45)
Sierra Leone won by 4 wickets!

If you took this as a stand alone result it would be embarrassing, but such is the game, that one-off results do happen. Taken in context with the slipping performance of the senior team, the lack of a meaningful domestic competition to bring together the nations best players (no word on if the Elite League will be back this year) and the lack of news out of Cricket Kenya about the youth development program, it is more a reflection of where the game is headed.

Cricket Kenya have done well so far in their tenure in terms of getting the National team both matches and exposure. This will however be useless if the grass roots continue to be neglected. Apart from making Kenya the laughing stock of other cricketing nations, results such as yesterday's highlight the gains the chasing pack are making. If Sierra Leone can beat us so easily, I hate to think of what Namibia and Uganda will do, let alone the Test sides when we play them. Getting the national side to play in India to prepare for the WC is great, but it is high time urgent and significant attention if brought to bear on improving the standard of the developing players. If they cannot hold their own, the national team will not be far behind in also crashing down.

Over to you Cricket Kenya - we need to see some changes. Now.


Ben83 said...

Oh dear, that is horrible news. Whilst it is good they're trying to get involved in the Indian Domestic League, I still think they need the Elite League Comp, and maybe there should also be an U/19 version of this, although, im not so sure thats financially viable. You really cant pick national teams from club competitions (thats just a personal point of view). As you said, something needs to be done, and now. They have additional funding now do they not due to their WC qualification?. P.s sorry to bug you with these questions all the time.

Onyango said...

I wonder if there is any high school cricket going on in Kenya. Why is CK not providing info on their official website.

Onyango said...

Kenya under 19 lost by 110 run Zambia. Is there any high school cricket going on in Kenya? youth cricket development?

Ben83 said...

I didnt even know CK had an official website apart from the cricinfo one.

Andruid said...

As far as i know there are a few international schools in nairobi, Mombasa and Rift Valley with active cricket teams, but not many are particularly playing very hard. (when I was in 6th form it was Greensteds and Hillcrest thrashing everybody else)

Andruid said...

had a look at Sierra leones other results and they really can bowl.

Nigeria out for 44, Tanzania out for 73,

I think we may have discovered africa's Afghanistan here. but the secptic in me says there is something dodgy about the bowlers they have brought with them