Umpires to boycott NPCA matches

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jan 20, 2017
  • Hitesh Bhudhia completes a run in one of the matches weekend as an umpire looks on. The Umpires and scorers have threatened to stay away. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

The Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Twenty20 league which continues over this weekend hangs in balance after the Kenya Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (KCUSA) asked its members to boycott all matches.

The umpire’s body took the decision not to officiate the matches after NPCA failed to pay their dues that ran to last year.

In a statement, NPCA fixture secretary Narendra Patel read; “We would like to bring to your attention that following our meeting with KCU & SA yesterday, the umpire’s association has advised NPCA that they will not avail their members to umpire any games until their outstanding payment is cleared. We regret the above situation, which has been brought about by delay in collection of outstanding fees from member clubs."

Patel confirmed that NPCA was working on alternative arrangements to ensure matches go on as scheduled.

“We do not promise we will be able to provide umpires for all the divisions/games in short notice but we will make all the effort to try to get some members to stand in. We are requesting all the member clubs to assist us in providing names of their members who are willing to umpire our games,” he said.

It’s not the first time that umpires have boycotted matches over non-payment from NPCA. With NPCA failing to attract sponsors, they raise most of their revenue from fees from clubs.

If the stalmate is resolved or alternative arrangements made, this weekend will see defending champions Swamibapa hoping to bounce back when they take on Nairobi Gymkhana and Ruaraka.

Bracing for victory

Unfazed by the shock defeat it faced in its opening game with Sikh Union at home last Sunday, the defending champions are bracing for a victory away from home.

On Saturday, Swamibapa will be at Nairobi Gymkhana against as side that easily beat Cutchi Leva last Sunday before taking on Ruaraka at home the next day.

Just like their hosts, Ruaraka will also be in search of a win after falling to Kanbis on day one.

With the squad boosting of eight current and former national team players alongside three professional players, Swamibapa technical bench is working overtime to ensure the boys get their act together to outsmart the two youthful sides.

"We have put the defeat at Nairobi Jaffery behind us. We have been in this kind of situation before and we have gone all the way to become favourites. The boys are positive and confident of giving their best to bounce back into the game,” skipper Maurice Ouma said.

Admitting that the team did not have enough score to defend with 135 runs on the board the captain said the players have to adjust quickly if they are to bounce back.

The other matches of the weekend will see Kanbis welcoming Kongonis and Nairobi Gymkhana on Sunday.

Red hot Stray Lions will be at Cutchi Leva on Saturday in search of a second win after beating Kongonis last week before taking on Sikh Union on Sunday at Simba Union.

On Saturday, Sikh Union will be at home to Ruaraka.

On Saturday, matches will begin at 2 p.m. and 9 a.m. on Sunday

Fixtures Saturday, January 21: Cutchi Leva v Stray Lions (Cutchi Leva), Nairobi Gymkhana v Swamibapa (Nairobi Gymkhana), Sikh Union v Ruaraka (Ruaraka), Kanbis v Kongonis (Eastleigh High School) Matches start at 2.30 p.m.

Sunday , January 22: Stray Lions v Sikh Union (Sikh Union), Kanbis v Nairobi Gymkhana (Eastleigh High School), Kongonis v Cutchi Leva (Nairobi Club), Swamibapa v Ruaraka (Nairobi Jaffery). Matches start at 9.30 a.m.