Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Who will be the next Captain?

With news coming out on Kenya's return home that though Steve Tikolo will continue to play for Kenya in the lead up to the World Cup (but not in it), the 3rd/4th place play off loss to The Netherlands was his last match as captain of the side. A shame it was lost, but not everything can have a happy ending. This means that there will be a vacancy at the top and deputy positions as the responsibility shifts onto new shoulders. So a look at the potential options for the new skipper:

1. Thomas Odoyo. As both the longest continuing servant of Kenyan cricket after Tikolo and the team's current Vice Captain, Odoyo has to be the favourite to take over the mantle. In his favour are his experience, his ability to lead from the front with both bat and ball and his natural leadership ability. There has been a recent problem with injuries however and the load of captaincy on top of his other duties may be considered too great - there are not many genuine all rounders who have also made great captains. Despite this and the recent slump in form, he is still the most likely to succeed Tikolo. At 30 probably still has about 4 years of service left.

2. Jimmy Kamande. Also an all rounder, Kamande is less of a key player than Odoyo, so the strain would be less. He has experience of captaincy at both club and Elite League and has a tendency to show a more attacking streak that Tikolo does. Also 30, he has probably about the same time left as Odoyo, but is less beset by injuries and has really grown as a player in the last 12 months. If not selected as Captain, would probably make a very good understudy and will probably be needed as such if Odoyo is made captain and misses games due to injury.

3. Peter Ongondo. At 32 one of the older statesmen of the side and will probably be one of a crop of players to move on after the World Cup. Certainly has the experience and has proved himself as a mentor for the younger players as well. Would provide a level head at the top and will need to lead from the front in the bowling department whether appointed or not.

4. Collins Obuya. After Tikolo, perhaps the most sensible of Kenya's batsmen in recent times and at 27 looks to have more time left in the game than the other possibles. Like Kamande a great fielder and will set a good example in both innings. One of the other players who is really showing consistent signs of improvement at the moment. His biggest asset though would probably be his age.

The above 4 are the most likely candidates with no one else really offering the package required:
Kennedy Obuya would be a good leader, but is the same vintage as Tikolo.
Onyango, though in the form of his life must also be nearing the end of his career.
Obanda, Waters, Bhudia & Otieno are too young and are yet to fully cement their positions anyhow.
Odhiambo & Varaiya are possible dark horses as both will almost certainly remain Key players for Kenya over the next decade. One of these could well sneak in as the next Vice Captain should one of the older players be chosen as Skipper.


On a different note, the Africa zone qualifiers for the U19 World Cup are due to get under way soon. No news yet on the Kenya squad, though several of our umpires have jetted out to officiate. Kenya are due to host this event in 2010 and it is vitally important that the team manage what others have not for a very long time - qualification for the U19 World Cup. Will keep updated with news as I get it...


Onyango said...

It seems Kenya qualifies automatically. The ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup is made up of 16 teams, including 10 Full Members, Kenya as hosts and the five regional qualifiers.

Chemosit said...

thanks - a relief to know, but we still need to win the qualifiers to prove we deserve to be there

Ben83 said...

What are the age qualifications for the U/19 WC? Can players who are already 19 still play? Or is these qualifiers? As Waters and Patel are still 19 according to cricinfo. They could at least help with qualifying.

Chemosit said...

Don't know the answer I'm sorry - tried to find out myself via the ACA website, but no joy. Can't see Waters playing TBA - I suspect he will resume county duties

Ben83 said...

I did a bit more research and found something that states full member players must be Under 19, however associate and affiliate members have to be under 20. Anyway, I dont know much about the younger Kenyan players, who are some I should watch out for? Kush Parmar seems like he might have the goods.

Andruid said...

Odoyo would be the obvious choice given he's theliteral next in line but I woulod opt for Collins Obuya in the hope Odoyo can focus on his considerable task in the sied and that Obuya's genmerally more responsible batting can rub off on the likes of Obanda

Chemosit said...

@Ben - see post on U19s

@Andruid - not sure what experience Collins has at captaincy. The batting issue really needs to be addressed by the coach.