Saturday, 27 October 2007
Having suffered defeats to some of previously easy opponents, Kenya has had a fairly good tournament going in the last 2 weeks. Coming from the Twenty 20 tourney in South Africa, where all the major cricket playing nations sent their teams, it was poor show from a country which a few years ago was applying for Test status- for the uninitiated Test playing nations in cricket means the crème de la crème of the cricket world. It’s an exclusive club of teams with regular one-day internationals (ODIs), small 3-nations tournaments and assured financial support for the national governing body along with major sponsorship and media rights. Initially most of these nations were former British colonies, given that the game was made popular by British colonialists in the different continents they occupied. But now a couple of other countries have come up and are making a mark on the scene including, USA, Netherlands and Namibia.
But since getting to the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup in 2003, held in South Africa & Zimbabwe ( and Kenya, thanks to some boycott from some Test playing nations such as England), the cricket scene has lost both its shine and steam. A couple of scandals have riddled the game, both the officials and some top players, loss of public interest, financial constraints and also a less than competitive national league. A coach’s stunted approach made it worse with over-reliance on a certain crop of players.
But in the last few weeks, I have been able to smile when I read the news and find the national team making us proud once again. A couple of new players have been added to the team and the Bermudans and Canadians have had their respective whooping by the Kenyan team. A change on the technical bench has also seen some spark added to the players who had more or less lost psyche. I do hope this can be sustained and a more careful approach. The Kenya Cricket Association (KCA) also needs to develop a more vibrant local league where youthful talent can be tapped. The need for more international games can not be more urgent. With these, any local or international corporation will only be too willing to thrown in some money for the support and growth of the game.
A wicket for the light at the end of the tunnel, KCA!