Former cricket captain Ouma dropped

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Dec 30, 2021
  • Former Kenya cricket captain Maurice Ouma.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Maurice Ouma, a former captain and wicket keeper who has been struggling for form has been dropped from the Kenya team for next months ICC World Cricket League Division Two in Namibia.

His place goes to opener Irfan Karimas the selectors cracked the whip to come up with a 15-man squad.

Also excluded from the side that lost 0-5 to Pakistan A in the recently concluded one-day series in Pakistan are Jimmy Kamande, Ken Owino, Hamza Malik, Emmanuel Bundi and Eugene Ochieng.

Players who have been given the nod are Rakep Patel, Collins Obuya, Narendra Patel and Dhiren Gondaria in the side.

The selectors headed by former glove man Tariq Iqbal picked the side in the presence of coach Steve Tikolo and captain Rakep Patel. "We have selected the best possible squad for the WCL and are confident the side will do well," said Iqbal.

He added: "We had to maintain the balance keeping view of the pitches in Namibia. But now we have to compete with quality teams, especially Namibia and Netherlands, who returned to form and Canada who will obviously come hard."

Ouma has been struggling for form both locally and internationally and so his omission has not come as a surprise to cricket followers in the country. With the availability of Rakep Patel, Narendra, Obuya, Gondaria and Alex Obanda-five top batters in the NPCA league and Karim, Ouma’s place in the side was in danger.

In the five matches against Pakistan A, Ouma, a specialist batsman managed only 59 runs compared to 84 and 67 scored by bowler Nelson Odhiambo and Elijah Asoyo.

Blooded youngsters 

"A lot of stress was given on the fitness and recent performance of the players. Fitness and form are very important. We put stress on consistent performance. A lot of players have done consistently well and apart from the seniors, we have blooded some youngsters as well so that they know what international cricket is all about," Tariq explained.

Tariq said coach Steve Tikolo also gave his input in the selection of the squad. "It was a happy meeting with the coach and I think the he is also convinced. This is the best possible side. I'm not going to speak about any individual player but I believe this is the best team at the moment," he said.

The selectors, who had opted to rest most of the seniors for the Pakistan tour, chose a full-strength team which included seniors like pacer Nehemiah Odhiambo, Nelson Odhiambo, Elijah Asoyo and spinners James Ngoche and Shem Obado.

Lucas Oluoch who was impressive with both the bat and ball in Pakistan was also rewarded for his performance same to Jadavji Bhimji. Bhimji was once of the best performers in the NPCA league this season and also had a good outing in Pakistan.

His experience with spin will be a key to Kenya’s quest to make it to WCL Division One. Another player who has been rewarded for a good performance is Gurdeep Singh. Like Gondaria, Singh has proved to be a promising youngster.

Teams 

Kenya: Rakep Patel (captain), Elijah Asoyo, Alex Auma, Jadavji Bhimji, Dhiren Gondaria, Irfan Karim, Lucas Ndandason, James Ngoche, Nehemiah Ngoche, Shem Ngoche, Collins Obuya, Nelson Odhiambo, Narendra Patel, Gurdeep Singh.

Namibia: Nicolaas Scholtz (captain), Stephen Baard, Sarel Burger, Merwe Erasmus, Louis Klazinga, Bjorn Kotze, Jean-Pierre Kotze, Bernard Scholtz, Johannes Smit, Christiaan Snyman, Gerrie Snyman, Raymond Van Schoor, Craig Williams, Helao Ya France.

Nepal:  Paras Khadka (captain), Binod Bhandari, Amrit Bhattarai, Naresh Bahadur Budhaayer, Shakti Prasad Gauchan, Sompal Kami, Bhuban Karki, Karan KC, Subash Khakurel, Gyanendra Malla, Sagar Pun, Basant Regmi, MD Arif Sheikh, Sharad Vesawkar.

Netherlands: Peter Borren (captain), Rahil Ahmed, Wesley Barresi, Jeroen Brand, Mudassar Bukhari, Ben Cooper, Vivian Kingma, Ahsan Malik, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar, Eric Szwarczynski, Paul van Meekeren, Matthijs van Schelven.

Uganda: Frank Nsubuga (captain), Davis Karashani, Hamu Kayondo, Arthur Kyobe, Brian Masaba, Deusdedit Muhumuza, Roger Mukasa, Phillemon Mukobe, Abram Mutyagaba, Patrick Ochan, Danniel Ruyange, Jonathan Sebanja, Laurence Sematimba, Henry Ssenyondo.

Canada: Amabir Hansra (captain), Rizwan Cheema, Parth Desai, Navneet Dhaliwal, Satsimranjit Dhindsa, Nikhil Dutta, Ruvindu Gunasekera, Nitish Kumar, Usman Limbada, Umer Nawaz, Cecil Pervez, Durand Soraine, Hamza Tariq, Srimantha Wijeyeratne.