Monday, June 29, 2009

An open letter to the ICC regarding Kenya's loss of hosting rights to the 2010 Under 19 World Cup

Dear Sirs,

I write regarding the recent decision to strip Kenya of hosting rights for the 2010 Under 19 World Cup.

Please can the report/reports given to the ICC regarding this decision be made public. Mention was made in the ICC press release concerning this that "regular reports to the ICC Board" were made. If this is correct, why was the issue not raised publicly in time for Kenya to bring preparations into line with ICC expectations? Please also release these documents for public scrutiny.

What were the specifics of Kenya being deemed unable to host the event? If there are genuine concerns, the ICC should be able to produce a list so that the Cricket Kenya has a chance to publicly address each concern. If the concerns cannot be addressed, this decision might at least be understood of not liked. If they can be addressed then there must be the basis for an investigation as to why this decision was reached.

Was it due to pitch quality? - last we were informed on this (May 11th) was that much progress had been made since the previous inspection in April and there were no undue worries. Given the time between now and the tournament plus the growing conditions in Kenya, there would be ample time for pitches to be brought up to top quality.Several of the pitches to be used already hold ODI status, and given that none of these have had their status revoked, the ICC must still be happy with their quality.
For things to have turned around so drastically in the short space of time since seems very peculiar as does the claim that there is not enough time to rectify the situation.

Is it infrastructure of buildings at the venues or roads etc? Once again, 8 months is a very long time in terms of preparing these and should there have been warning before this decision, it is likely that the Kenya government would have been able to intervene to ensure deadlines are met. Almost all the venues to be used already have existing facilities which could be brought up to scratch well inside the 8 months remaining.

When did New Zealand "offer to host the tournament"? It seems highly coincidental that they just happened to be ready with their offer as Kenya were stripped of hosting rights.

Why has Kenya not been given an ultimatum to reach a particular state of readiness by a certain date rather than suddenly losing the hosting rights without warning? If this did happen, why was it not made public?

What were the affiliations of the persons involved in presenting the report to the ICC?

In summary. the reason given in last week's press release for the stripping of the Under 19 world Cup from Kenya does not stand up. Eight months is ample of time for preparations to be completed and for Kenya to put on a fantastic event. I daresay that given the opportunity, they could certainly at least match the debacle that was the senior World Cup last held in the West Indies.

The ICC has made much of its supposed support for growing the game of cricket outside of the Old Boys Club that is Test cricket. How does it justify that aim in light of this recent decision that has cost one of the strongest Associates upwards of $150 000 - a huge amount of money in terms of an Associate nation's budget, not to mention revenue lost from no longer hosting the event and the incalculable loss that comes from losing an amazing opportunity to promote the game to the Kenyan public.

Kenyan cricket fans have had to put up with much over the last few years, the least they are owed by the ICC is an open and detailed explanation as to why this event that would have done so much good for the growth of cricket in the country has been snatched away from them. We look forward to an honest and transparent explanation.

copied to local and online media

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