Time for CK to put house in order

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jun 18, 2016

Kenya national cricket team’s recent tour of Australia on their way to Papua New Guinea had one win of the five matches the national team played.

The three friendly matches were against a reasonable fixture in Darwin, Australia where Kenya lost 2-1 out of the matches played.

The much awaited fixture against PNG did not go in favour of our national team. Kenya lost both matches played in Port Moresby.

In the first match Kenya lost by six wickets. The national team however, was very competitive in the second match, losing the match by 21 runs after being in a winning position.

Irfan Karim scored 73 runs not out in the first match and Rushab (Son of HOD for the Kenya team – 2003 World Cup - Nipun Patel) playing his first ODI, scored 95 runs in a losing cause.

There were contributions with the bat and bowling by the Kenyan players. However, the middle and lower order had no resistance against the determined PNG bowling attack in both the matches.

The loss further weakens Kenya’s position at international level. Kenya now waits until November when the national team will play Hong Kong – venue yet to be known.

In September this year, Kenya will once again be playing in the Africa T20 Cup against the S.A. Provincial teams and Zimbabwe – Kenya performed poorly in the last years outing.

I am however perplexed with the management of Cricket Kenya who have not managed to get any meaningful fixtures to prepare the team for such matches. The team has to win these matches if there is any hope for our cricket to rise.

The national team needs quality and regular matches to grow and be consistent with their performances. Merely practicing with each other most of the time has no meaning. This is wasting valuable time and resources.

CK have been busy in further politicking

It is possible that CK have been busy in further politicking after sacking the former Kenya captain Steve Tikolo and Martin Suji from their coaching jobs. The two failed miserably in their roles.

Since then, Steve has managed to get a second stint with Uganda Cricket as the national coach.

CK has now appointed Thomas Odoyo, who also has a very poor record in his coaching roles to date which includes a road side decision of including Peter Ongondo to be assistant coach on this tour.

Both however had done the national team proud when playing. I am not sure if the coaches need to look healthy or reasonably fit to motivate the team in addition to their coaching skills as both of them seem on the heavier side of the weighing scale.

I would definitely consider the same. The question now is - how long will the two coaches last?

Lameck Onyango, who was assisting the national team, has been tossed around like a football being moved to assist men’s team and then to ladies and back.

Most of the players have also lost count on where he really is coaching or should be coaching.

Where is Maurice Odumbe in the cricket scene? I guess still being victimised. I guess it depends on the whims of the leadership.

The ladies cricket though having not much success in their game, needs regular matches too or a ladies league if their cricket is to grow.

Money misappropriated at CK? 

On a recent note, there are unconfirmed reports that money/funds have been misappropriated at CK. The fraternity is awaiting a statement or report confirming or denying the same.

The last public knowledge on funds misappropriation in cricket was of 10,000 U.S. – was by the current Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association Chairman – Tom Tikolo when as the general manager, he went on a tour to the West Indies with under-15 team for a tournament in 2007 as the manager.

No action was taken against him as he is at the helm of cricket leadership to date.

On a positive note, I must applaud and commend Coast Cricket Association, who despite their shortcomings, managed to run a successful NIC Cup for the second year running with healthy sponsorship.

Despite the cricket standards being lower in Mombasa, the interest and enthusiasm are way better than in Nairobi.

Can the NPCA take a leaf and learn from CCA from getting a sponsorship to creating enthusiasm in cricket that over the years since the formation of NPCA in 1986 (20 years) has been the pride of Kenyan cricket?

The cricket fraternity is still awaiting a comprehensive report from the national body on cricket development in all the counties and to inform the public on their success rate.

Unless, we have meaningful development structures put in place, I see no hope of cricket growing. It will be huge disservice to the youngsters, especially cricket lovers. Can the leadership wake up to reality??

By Aasif Karim: Karim is a former National Cricket team captain. He played in three World cups;1996, 1999 and 2003 and participated in Davis cup tennis tournaments.