Former national team players unhappy with Cricket Kenya

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Feb 29, 2021
  • Former Kenya Cricket players were honored in a historic match at Nairobi Gymkhana on Sunday. (Photo Courtesy)

Most of the retired cricket players are not happy with the way the sport is being managed.

The players who assembled for a memorial game at Nairobi Gymkhana on Sunday asked CK to pull out their socks or else they step down. “It’s a high time CK realized that the standard of the game has gone down and they should find a way of improving it or they ship out,” Aasif Karim, a former captain told Sports News Arena.

The players who were delighted by the event to honor their achievements suggested CK should organize more of such matches in future where past cricketers will have a platform to socialize and see how they can help the revival of the game in the country.

Jasmer Singh, a team manager during Kenya's historic win over West Indies challenged CK Jackie Janmohammed to seek the help of former players.

“By seeking their help in many things, we will be telling them that we value them. But waiting for them to knock at your door it won’t work. We need to get these past players back on board in whatever capacity,” Singh said.

In her remarks to the players, Janmohammed urged the former players to come on board and help rather than criticize from outside.

Down memory lane  

On Sunday, local cricket fans and current active cricketers got a glimpse of former Kenyan cricketers when the retired national team players played a match in honor of the Kenya’s historic win over West Indies at the Nairobi Gymkhana.

The stadium which has been the home of Kenyan cricket was flocked by fans who included family and friends of the former players. The cricketers happily signed autographs.

For those who had come to witness them, the result of the match was secondary. The real winner of the day were the organizers of the event, the first of its kind in the history of Kenyan cricket.

“I am happy to see all these faces on a cricket field. You made a mark on Kenyan cricket with your performance and we are really grateful that someone thought of this. Well done to the organizers and to all the players who have honored this event,” said Singh, the team manager during the historic win.

Twenty four past and Kenyan cricketers gathered to play the Twenty 20 game - the first one for majority of them. Among the players that had never played a Twenty20 match included Tito Odumbe and his elder brother Bernard Odumbe, Tariq Iqbal, Asif Karim and Rajab Ali.

“You guys will have to be easy with us on run outs and lbw. We have no idea on how the tactics of T20, so you have to be lenient with us that we can have fun,” Bernard Odumbe said referring to the players who played T20 before hanging their gloves.

The 1996 World Cup captain Maurice Odumbe and 1999 captain Asif Karim were picked up captains of the two select sides. Odumbe captained the ‘Odumbe Greens’ that consisted the likes of David Tikolo, Peter Ongondo, Bernard Odumbe, Iqbal, Jimmy Kamande, Rajab Ali, Tony Suji and David Obuya among others.

Odumbe and Karim captained the sides

Karim’s Reds consisted of seamers Thomas Odoyo, Lameck Onyango, Tito and Martin Suji. Others were Shahid Bwibo, Andrew Mboya, Kennedy Obuya and Sandeep Qupta among others.

Odumbe, winning the toss, elected to bowl first and the residents of the area were presented with an entertaining display of batsmanship and bowling from their past stars before Karim’s Red carried the day by four wickets.

Iqbal and David Obuya put on an opening stand of 10 runs before Iqbal top edged Tito’s delivery into Kennedy Obuya’s hands for a duck. David Obuya then got the scores to 38 runs in a second wicket stand with Tikolo.

The two scored 30 runs before retiring. Reds bagged their second wicket when Bernard Odumbe was run out by Onyango on five runs. Rajab Ali too proved that he still has some batting in him with 21 balls 20 before he was trapped lbw by Kennedy Obuya.

Kennedy Obuya picked his second in two balls when he clean bowled Tony Suji for a golden duck to leave Greens on 89. Suji was followed immediately by Maurice Odumbe who was bowled by Karim on seven runs.

Kamande and Ongondo ensured their side got into the hundred mark with 15 runs each before ending their inning on 120 for 9. The man who rose to the occasion was Kennedy Obuya who smashed 50 from 21 balls with five sixes and four boundaries.

He put up 61 runs for the first wicket with Gupta before he retired. Gupta also retired after scoring 20 runs. Martin Suji and Bwibo chipped in 15 and 14 runs respectively for Reds.

After Bwibo retired, there was a mini collapse for the Reds as Odoyo and Onyango got out within the space of few runs.

But Andrew Mboya, batting at number six, made a fine 20 with the help of two boundaries to lead their side to victory with 8.3 overs to play.