Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cricket Kenya Press Release regarding Tom Tikolo's resignation


Cricket Kenya wishes to announce that an inquiry was held by the Cricket Kenya Board on Sunday 20th December 2009 at Parklands Sports Club to consider the allegations of misappropriation of cricket funds made against its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tom Tikolo (“Mr Tikolo”), by an anonymous group of individuals calling itself “Cricket Kenya Stakeholders”.

These allegations had been circulated to a number of media houses and in light of the serious nature of the allegations made, Cricket Kenya resolved to carry out investigations and to hold an inquiry at the earliest possible opportunity.

Cricket Kenya invited Mr Sharad Rao, Advocate, to assist the Board at the inquiry as an independent advisor. Mr Rao is a former Deputy Public Prosecutor and is Kenya’s current representative on the ICC Code of Conduct Commission. His contribution was invaluable.

The allegations against Mr Tikolo centred around:-

1) A refund given personally to Mr Tikolo amounting to some US$3,000 by Kenya Airways in respect of funds paid by Africa Cricket Association (ACA) for the airfares of players from East Africa who participated in the AfroAsia tournament held in India in 2007.

2) A travel grant of US$ 10,000 payable to Cricket Kenya by the organisers of the Clico Under 15 tournament held in West Indies in 2008 which amount was alleged to have been paid in cash to Mr Tikolo who failed to account for it.


The inquiry considered the investigations carried out which included submissions made by Mr Tikolo as well as enquiries raised with Mr Cassim Suliman (CEO of ACA), Kenya Airways and travel agents in the UK and their respective responses. The following facts are pertinent.

1) Kenya Airways refunded the difference to Mr Tikolo on 4th June 2007. This was paid into his personal account and thereafter topped up on 5th July 2007 by a further remittance from ACA.
2) At the material time, Mr Tikolo was in South Africa on an extended stay attending a course for CEOs at Wits Business School and the ACA AGM in Johannesburg.
3) Mr Cassim Suliman confirmed:-

• that he had several meetings in Johannesburg with Mr Tikolo (in his capacity as ACA tournament director) to discuss the AfroAsia tournament in India which was imminent.
• that the refund related to a Kenyan player (Mr Thomas Odoyo) who was playing league cricket in the UK and who would not be joining the team in Nairobi but would be flying to India directly from London.
• that there were problems with Mr Odoyo's visa to travel and that UK travel agents were dealing with the Indian High Commission to enable Mr Odoyo to travel.
• that Mr Tikolo would utilise all the money paid into his account to pay the UK travel agents for the ticket, for visa services and transport for Mr Odoyo in view of the urgency.
• that Mr Suliman was aware of and approved the course of action taken in order to ensure the player concerned would arrive in time for the tournament.

4) The UK travel agents have confirmed that they duly received payment in full from Mr Tikolo for the services they had rendered.

5) Kenya Airways also confirmed that since Cricket Kenya only had a cash account with them and that since the initial payment had been tendered by Mr Tikolo, they were obliged, in line with their policy, to make out a cheque for the refund in his name.

The inquiry was satisfied with the explanations and evidence received from Mr Tikolo and the other parties involved. In particular, the fact that ACA, who had supplied the funds, was fully aware of and approved the course of action taken by Mr Tikolo, there was no basis for concluding that any misappropriation had taken place in this matter.


The inquiry considered the investigations carried out which included submissions made by Mr Tikolo as well as enquiries raised with the organisers of the Clico Under 15 tournament in the West Indies and other participating cricket boards.

In January 2008, the Cricket Kenya Board received details from Mr Tikolo of an invitation for Kenya to participate in an Under 15 tournament in the West Indies sponsored by Clico, a local finance group. The Board was informed that all local expenses (hotels, meals and incidentals) would be met by the hosts leaving the cost of travel to be met by Cricket Kenya. The tour was approved by the Board.

The hosts had, in fact, offered a travel grant of US$10,000 towards the team’s travel. This offer was communicated by the Project Co-ordinator, Mr Anthony Harford, in a private email exchange between himself and Mr Tikolo. When asked how he wished the grant to be disbursed, Mr Tikolo asked that the grant be paid over to him personally in cash when he arrived in the West Indies as Team Manager.

The grant was paid by the hosts to Mr Tikolo in cash as requested. Subsequently, the money was stolen from a bag belonging to Mr Tikolo and he reported this to the hosts requesting assistance.

The inquiry considered the response given by Mr Harford to the query raised with him. Mr Harford advised that Mr Tikolo had reported the loss to him and was worried about the repercussions at home when it was found that the money was missing. Although the hosts were not able to replace the money they agreed, in consultation with West Indies CEO, Dr. Peters, that “they would be willing to assist in defraying expenses for a Kenyan development team up to US$7500 as compensation for the loss of funds” in any future tour made by a Kenyan development team.

Mr Tikolo accepted the inquiry’s findings

• that the grant was money which belonged to Cricket Kenya
• that he should have disclosed the existence of the grant to the Board before he left on tour.
• that he should have disclosed the loss upon his return when reconciling the tour account.
• that his failure to disclose constituted a serious irregularity – irrespective of how honest his intentions may have been.
• that he should have come clean on this episode when questioned about it

Mr Tikolo made it clear that he had no intentions of any dishonesty but felt it best, in the interests of the game, that he should step aside. He confirmed that he was solely responsible for his actions and that the entire Board was unaware of this incident. He further clarified that there was no money due to Cricket Kenya from the AfroAsia tournament in 2007. Cricket Kenya simply made available the three players who were selected to play for the Africa team and each of these players received their match fees and allowances personally in India from the organisers.

Mr Tikolo offered his immediate resignation to the Cricket Kenya Board which was accepted. Mr Tikolo further agreed to reimburse the funds due to Cricket Kenya in full and to work out the modalities of such repayment with the Treasurer at the earliest opportunity.

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