This year in world Cricket the finest exponents of the ODI format will be in Australia and New Zealand, to contest the ICC 50 Overs World Cup. The 10 full members of the ICC will be joined by 4 associates, of which for the first time in 19 years Kenya will not be among them.
Kenya must instead focus on the long journey of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup (assuming that the rug isn’t pulled out from under associates), and that journey begins in Namibia on the 17th of January 2015.
The 2nd Division of the World Cricket League kicks off with: Kenya, Namibia (hosts), Uganda, Netherlands, Nepal, and Canada. These teams will be contesting two promotion slots to Division 1 of the WCL, and a slot in the final round of World Cup Qualifying, (assuming no dramatic changes) for the 2019 World Cup.
The final two slots in the next round of intercontinental Cup First Class league, and a shot at qualifying for a test match in 2019, will also be at stake at this tournament.
Three of Kenya’s 5 opponents in this tournament have previous World Cup experience, and Uganda, our local rivals; have proven a stubborn opponent in recent times. Nepal is also on the up and should be taken very seriously. In terms of history, this is probably the toughest WCL Division 2 tournament that has come together in the history of the World Cricket League.
This tournament will not be won on past reputation but on which teams bring their A game to the actual games. A less than full strength team, team exposed by Pakistan A, in the team’s last outing. With the Kanbis duo of Rakep and Narendra Patel, Collins Obuya, and Irfan Karim back in the fold, there will be lots more fire power in the batting than the team which went to visit Pakistan.
Most of the team will also have been part of the group which visited Namibia late last year, and will be very familiar with the conditions, as well as most of the opponents they will be facing.
*Kenya squad for ICC World Cricket League Division 2:
Rakep Patel (c), Elijah Otieno, Alex Obanda, Jadavji Bhimji, **Dhiren Gondaria, Irfan Karim(wk), Lucas Oluoch, James Ngoche, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Shem Obado Ngoche, Collins Obuya, Nelson Odhiambo, Narendra Patel, Gurdeep Singh.
* There is quite a bit of contradictory information regarding Kenya’s squad to the WCL Div II on multiple credible cricket websites
*Injured on club duty and replaced by James Kamande (Daily nation report)