Found an interesting little document floating on the web some days ago. It was a PDF purporting to carry what are the various qualifications an aspiring test ought to meet in order to have their application approved. Whether they have been used on the more recent applicants (looks at Bangladesh) is another issue altogether
Now obvoiusly its been a few years since the glory days over here and Kenya cannot reasonably claim, the premier Associate, given the progress of the likes of Ireland and the Netherlands, but I ramble. Going back to the document, there are a few criteria, which I figured I would put on this post on account that Kenya’s cricket stakeholders have talked endlessly about meeting them without really getting there
national team performance
record of national team in:
• three/four day matches against first class teams including matches against national
teams of existing Full Members
• performance of individuals in overseas first class cricket
• performance of Second XI/’A’ Team
• performance of U19 team in Under 19 World Cup and regional tournaments
Kenya’s main access to First Class cricket is the Intercontinental Cup, which for variuos reasons, Kenya has yet to win. Given that the first two years a strike depleted squad actually amed the semifinals, may be argued to be an acheivement in itsel and Kenya were badly hit by having their home games hit bay rain in 2006, that during that time Ireland have won the tournament three years running should raise some alarm bells with the administration. As for Firts class matches agaisnt ful members, Kenya are blessed to actually be able to attract development and academy from the the Sub-continent for tours. Something that no other associates has quite been able to pull off, but if the recent FC results against India A in 2007 and Pakistan Academy are to be repeated they might opt to look for stronger competition elsewhere.
The second point most alarmingly is that (unless one insists on including Grade cricket, which is second tier cricket in Australia) very few Kenyans have made an impact on overseas cricket. In the past 15 years, only four Kenyans have secured playing deals in Overseas leagues in the FC format of the game. Right now only two Kenyans (Ragheb Aga at Sussex, and Seren Waters at Surrey) are signed to teams playing top level cricket.
The third interesting point, is that Kenya can hardly be said to have a functional ‘A’ team at all. A select XI that toured Zimbabwe in 2008, and a home and away series against Denmark (One day games only) amount to almost the entirety of games played by any team that could purport to call itself kenya’s second XI
As for the u19 teams. That we are not even the best team in East Africa saya alot
• a country must play regular first class cricket (domestic 3/4 day competition) before playing
• number of teams and players – sufficiently large pool of players to draw from capable of
performing at the highest level of the game.
Kenya’s first and so far only attempt to introduce a First Class 3/4 day competition on the domestic level was centered around the Sahara Leagues, (more here) were scuppered by all manner of misfortune, from the PEV, to bad weather and unavailability of plaers due to school etc. As for this season’s Sahara Elite league, Cricket Kenya, has yet to make known in the public domain what the plan is there.
on the scond point, now there fact that Rift Valley (allegedly created in a cynical power plot by KCA to undermine Nairobi) has turned out to be a blessing in terma of growth of the game. But is it enough to sustain a test team?
Now there is more where this came from, even positives to be pointed out in the management of the board and finances etc (despite what some may claim) . Also likely to come good from the standards set in the operating manual, are the grounds and facilities, thanks mainly to Cricket Kenya sinking an excess of 18 million KES in preparation for the under 19s World Cup, next year. Nonetheless, it is clear that ther is still plenty of work to be done.
Over to you…