Well, in all the hub bub about the changes, or no changes at the top, it almost escaped this blogger that the Kenya national Cricket team will be in South Africa for the Inaugural Africa sixes challenge, and the re-launched Africa Cricket Cup. Kenya will face South Africa, as well as Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
The 6s challenge is a 6-a-side (5 overs an innings) format game, while the Africa Cricket Cup will be the standard 50 overs a side games.The sixes challenge will run over the course of the weekend (6-7th September 2014) and the Cricket Cup will run the week after (8-13th September 2014). These tournaments for all intents and purposes should be considered as a stepping stone in preparing for the Division II World Cricket League tournament, set for Namibia in February next year.
The 6s challenge is organised by Global Softech (a South African corporate), while the Africa Cricket Association is in charge of the Cricket Cup. The Cricket Cup has been brought back (Possibly) in light of how similar tournaments in Asia and Europe have been so successful in stimulating cricket growth in hitherto weak associate countries like: Ireland, Netherlands, Nepal, Afghanistan and even Hong Kong, whether or not it will catch on is the big test.
From the squad, Kenya will be sending what appears to be a full strength squad to contest the two tournaments. Narendra Patel is the only brand new cap, while Dhiren Ghondaria and Gurdeep Singh hang on to their slots, having both joined the national team in the last year.Also of note is the return of left arm pace bowlers Lucas Oluoch, while the highest profile absences are that of Tanmay Mishra and Irfan Karim.
As for the opposition, the information I can dig up indicates that for the most part Uganda, and probably Tanzania, and Namibia will be fielding the full national team, while I have no idea what the South Africa and Zimbabwe teams (who are currently in Zimbabwe for a tri-series with Australia) will look like. Either way, given the relative depth of the game in these two countries relative to the rest of the competition, whatever squad they field will definitely be very strong.
The Kenya team: Rakep Patel (c), Shem Obado Ngoche, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya, Nelson Odhiambo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Narendra Patel, Morris Ouma (wk.), Elijah Otieno, Hiren Varaiya, James Ngoche, Dhiren Ghondaria, Lucas Oluoch, Gurdeep Singh,
Coach: Steve Tikolo
Strength & Conditioning/Manager: Joseph Asichi,
Assistant Coach: Thomas Odoyo,
Physiotherapist: Joseph Mutisya