Top contenders for NPCA League to miss national team players

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 30, 2017
  • League leaders Kanbis are not worried about the absence of their national team players who are in South Africa. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

With top contenders Kanbis, Stray Lions and Swamibapa missing their top players ahead of this Sunday’s NPCA super league matches, a number of new players could be called up to stake their claims in the starting line ups.

The top three teams together with Nairobi Gymkhana and Sikh Union Nairobi have players with the national team which is in South Africa for the ICC World Cricket League Championship matches against the Netherlands.

On Sunday, Kanbis will seek to extend their lead with an away match to Obuya Academy at Sir Ali. Kanbis will be without their key batsmen Rakep Patel, Dhiren Gondaria and Nelson Odhiambo.

They are also without Pushpak Kerai who is the second top wicket taker in the league.

Second-placed Stray Lions will be at home without Shem Obado, Collins Obuya and Nehemiah Odhiambo when they welcome Sir Ali who will also be without coach player Thomas Odoyo.

Third-placed Swamibapa whose unbeaten run was brought to an end by Kanbis last week will seek to bounce back without, Irfan Karim, Emmanuel Bundi and Alex Obanda when they travel to Cutchi Leva.

Nairobi Gymkhana will miss the services of Lucas Oluoch, Rushabh Patel and Peter Koech when they travel to Ruaraka while Sikh Union will host Kongonis without skipper Gurdeep Singh.

Despite being with the national team, Gurdeep Singh is serving a two match ban from NPCA.

Kanbis which for years has proved that they have a pool of players to select from will have little to worry about on replacements for their absentees.

“We are never worried with the absence of the players. We have players that will be called into play. Our worry is if they will perform and not if we will get the players to play,” Kanbis captain Rajesh Bhudia said.

Chance for Bhudia

They could give the Under 19 captain Sachin Bhudia a chance to once again play at the top and probably get more playing time.

Another player who could benefit from the absence of the four regular players is Harish Varsani. Varsani ended his five months ban three weeks ago and will be hoping that the absence of his team mates will give him a chance to regain his place in the team.

Defending champions Stray Lions will welcome back their top batsman Manoj Sai with a hope that he will seal the gap created by the absence of batsmen Obado and Obuya.

Sai has been away in Australia and this will be his first match of the season.

Sir Ali have been dependant of Odoyo in their last seven matches. His absence could be a big blow as their members of the team apart from Ken Owino have failed to sparkle.

Swamibapa will be going to their second team to source for players to replace their three key players.

The home team are struggling for form and the match could be a good platform for Swamibapa to bounce back from the loss to Kanbis at home last Sunday.

Fixtures

Sunday October 1: Stray Lions v Sir Ali (Peponi School), Obuya Academy v Kanbis (Sir Ali Muslim Club), Swamibapa v Cutchi Leva (Cutchi Leva), Sikh Union v Kongonis (Sikh Union), Ruaraka v Nairobi Gymkhana (Ruaraka).