A cricket ground in Bomet to honor fallen Kenya captain

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Nov 03, 2021

Bomet County will start cricket development programs in schools in the area and also develop a cricket ground in honour of departed national cricket team captain Emily “Chep-Cricket” Ruto.

The former captain was buried in Chepalungu, Bomet County at the weekend. Isaac Ruto, the Bomet governor said he will do his best to ensure that Emmy’s legacy continued back in her home.

“Emmy loved cricket so much and she ended up being the first and only Kalenjin to have donned the national cricket team colours from an area that is popular with athletic. So as a way to ensure that her legacy continues living on, we will start cricket in this area,” the governor said when he met the cricket team at his home in Chemoi.

Ruto was speaking to cricket players who had gone to attend the burial of her daughter Emily Ruto who until her death was the National Ladies cricket team captain.

Among the mourners were William Ruto, the Deputy President and Raila Odinga, a former Prime Minister.

The Bomet Governor repeated the sentiments during the burial after Cricket Kenya shelved her number 8 shirt that she always donned when she represented the country international matches for the last seven years.

Jackie Janmohamed, the Cricket Kenya chairperson had hinted they will partially retire the shirt with a promise that the shirt will be used again by the next player coming from the area.

“As a respect to our beloved daughter who sacrificed a lot to ensure that Kenya cricket gets to another level, we will be partially be retiring the shirt number she used to use. We had been asked to completely retire it but we will not be doing that. We will have the parents keep the shirt but it can be used again when we get another player from this area,” Janmohamed said.

CK to donate artificial surface

CK promised to donate an artificial surface when the ground was identified. Janmohammed also donated mini cricket sets to be disbursed in primary schools in the area to jump start the cricket programmes in the area. CK also promised to send coaches to the area to train the locals on basics of cricket.

During the burial that was attended by over 30 governors, Ruto’s father revealed on how on many occasions he had tried to stop her daughter from playing cricket but changed his mind when Emily continuously excelled in her academics.

“Like any other parent, I was not comfortable with my daughter getting involved in sports and especially cricket. I kept on wondering where she had developed this love for an Indian game.

First I went to her school at Kenya High to try and persuade the teachers to discourage her from playing but that did not work, because the teachers asked me not to worry. After her KCSE results I reluctantly allowed her to play because she had done well.

I waited to see how she will do in her first year at the University and I was left with no option but to let her play after she did well in her Electrical Engineering Course,” the governor told the mourners.

Ruto left the mourners in stitches when he said that he was shocked to learn that all the time he was allowing his daughter to play cricket, he was allowing her time to be with boys. After completing high school, Emily joined the Kenya Kongonis Cricket Club at Nairobi Club where he trained alongside boys.

It’s while at Kongonis that Emily became the first lady to play for the club and also the first woman to play in the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association League in 2007. Kongonis did not have a ladies’ team so Emy played for the men’s club team. She had played 14 matches for the club until her death.

Tempted to stop her from playing cricket

The governor revealed to mourners his reaction after realising that her daughter was playing at Kongonis “But again when I found out that she was the only lady playing in the men’s team, I found myself being tempted in asking her to stop cricket but the mother and cricket officials pleaded with me not to worry and ever since I have been happy with how she has been performing in cricket,´ he said.

Her mother Esther Ruto said that even while on the sick bed, her daughter always thought of cricket and was happy when she heard that her father was making arrangements to take her to India for treatment.

“While on her sickbed, Emmy kept on talking about how she will be happy to go to India and meet Sachin Tendulkar. She was so mad about cricket. When it emerged that the father will be taking her to USA and not India, Emmy was not happy,” the mother recalled. The family will also set up a Cancer center in the area to be known as Chep-Cricket Cancer Center.

The cricket fraternity was well represented in the final send-off of the long serving captain of national cricket side. Besides the CK boss, others who attended the burial were Tom Tikolo (NPCA Chairman), Rajesh Patel (NPCA Treasurer), David Waters (Kenya Kongonis captain), national team coaches, Steve Tikolo, Thomas Odoyo and Martin Suji.

Also, over 50 former and current cricket players both male and female attended the burial of the former Kenya captain.

As a way of honoring Emy’s contribution to women’s cricket, Odinga urged the government to rally behind and support the women’s cricket team which is due to travel to South Africa for the Women Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers in December. The Deputy President promised to facilitate.