This week Kenya’s men’s cricket team has a chance to succeed, where the football and TPF4 comrades have failed, when they host Uganda in a 3 match One Day International series in Mombasa. The series, running from the 15th to the 19th of December, will be the last significant activity of a year that has had more downs than ups. Kenya go into this series on the back of a, Steve Tikolo inspired, 4-0 white wash of the United Arab Emirates. Tikolo, as well as 4 other senior players, will however not be available for what may be a tougher assignment against our neighbours next door. There will therefore be more asked of the crop of young players led chiefly by 24yr old Tanmay Mishra and Alex Obanda. Uganda has proven to be increasingly stubborn opposition over the last 2 or three years. A decisive win for Kenya would certainly be a good confidence boost just 3 months ahead of the 50 over World Cup.
With 5 (mostly senior team members) absent through injury there will be an opportunity for one or two younger ones to make a point to the selectors ahead of the 2011 World Cup. Among the batsmen, the one with most to prove, in this blogger’s opinion, is Kanbis’ Rakep Patel. A core element in his club side’s dominance of domestic cricket, his talent has not quite borne fruit at national level since a stunning 92 versus Holland way back in January. There may also be an opportunity for one Lucas Oluoch to make a name for himself. A product of Cricket Kenya’s fledgling youth system he has become available to the national team (he had school commitments) for the 1st time in months. Aside from that there will also be interest in the burgeoning rivalry, between Hiren Varaiya (SLA) and James Ngoche (OS), over the role of 1st choice spinner.
The three games will be on the 15th, 17th and 19th of December and will all be played at the Mombasa Sports Club?