Cricket Kenya not comfortable with ‘destructive’ Odumbe in tour squad

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Nov 25, 2017
  • Cricket Kenya are uncomfortable with Maurice Odumbe, the national team’s batting coach on tour squad. He was ‘dropped’ from tour squad for the second time. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Could the past be haunting Maurice Odumbe?

This has become the lingering question after the former national team captain was once again snubbed from the national cricket team squad for the ICC World Cricket League Championships match against Scotland.

Since his appointment in as the batting coach in January this year, Kenya has made over five tours but Odumbe has only made to one which was in Uganda.

Sources confirmed to Sports News Arena that Cricket Kenya board has not been comfortable with the former all-rounder travelling with the team for fear of ‘being destructive’ to the team.

In 2004, Odumbe was banned for five years after he was allegedly found guilty of associating with a known bookmaker a past that CK is not comfortable with despite having appointed him to the technical bench to link up with Thomas Odoyo and Peter Ongondo.

“Maurice cannot travel with the team because CK fears he will be destructive to the team if he travels. They are not sure if he has reformed to warrant him to travel with the team for such an event” the source said.

Last month when the team travelled to South Africa to play against Netherlands, Odumbe’s name was struck off the list at the last minute despite having secured the visa.

When contacted, CK chairperson Jackie Janmohammed didn’t return the call or reply to the numerous texts even after confirming to reply to the texts.

Odumbe ponder about his role

Odumbe said the failure to travel with the team has made him wonder what his role was in the team.

“I am happy with how the batting has been performing. There is a lot of improvement but for me to travel I am told, I have to guarantee that the team will win. Surely who guarantees if a team will win or not,” he posed.

Odumbe raised concerns with his batting coach job saying he has found it difficult to work and that he is being frustrated.

“Since my appointment, it has not been easy for me. I have gone through a lot of frustration both on and off the field. I haven’t been able to do what I am supposed to. I don’t know if it’s because I will step on someone’s toes or what but all in all, it hasn’t been easy,” he alleged.

With the frustration, Odumbe has left it to fate to determine his future.

“I think it has reached a point that my system can’t handle whatever is happening. You can’t keep hitting your head on the wall every time. But what keeps me going is that I don’t believe in giving up. I think the fact that I am never a loser is what has kept me going but I feel it can’t take more,” he added.

Odumbe recalled the frustrations he had to go through after ending his five years ban when he was not welcome in the ‘cricket fraternity’ then.

“Whatever was happening after the end of my ban is what is still coming through. I feel not welcomed just like I was not welcomed in 2009. Most things are done behind my back and only come to know about them when they have already been sealed. But the good thing is that I am clean,” he stated.

He is however happy that a number of players that he is working with in the team are appreciative and are ready to learn.