14 Years and Counting


I don’t normally post on Provincial (or county)level tournaments, on account of the fact that I prefer national level domestic competitions as a measure of the strength of the game in question. However with this post I make an exception.

Over the weekend Kanbis Sports Club defeated Sikh Union to win the Nairobi Province Super League for the 14th time in a row.  In the absence of an East Africa Premier League, or Cup this year (or for the immediate near future), this makes them the best domestic cricket club in the country right now.

A Kanbis Wicket-keeper showing the kind of focus that makes champions (Source:Sporton.nation.co.ke)

Given that the nations team captain as, well as the bulk of players turning out for Kenya’s youth teams over the past few years are Kanbis players, it further shows how much more dependent the game is dependent on them than ever before.

Before them, Swamibapa (Kanbis’s most fierce rivals by the way) had made similar run of dominance of the game, and it was through their scouting programme that the bulk of Kenya’s legendary team at the 2003 World Cup was scouted and introduced to the game.

Is this kind of one team domination a good thing or not for the game? Well it depends with what the dominant team chooses to do with that dominance. Swamibapa, as I stated made their prominence into a platfo0rm to fuel a ‘golden age’ for Kenyan Cricket as a whole. During Kanbis’ reign however (mostly due to things they can’t be blamed for) Kenya’s cricket  as a sport has suffered a crisis.

What can Kanbis’ success teach the rest of the game? Will the likes of Swamibapa, Sikh Union, Premier, Stray Lions or a new entity that has not come to the fore yet take this challnege to catch up with and overtake Kanbis? Will their model be studied and applied by aspiring sport organisations in and outside of Nairobi? Will their winning culture translated to whichever national teams their players get called up to?

I am hoping the answer to most of these questions is yes, because, Kenyan cricket at all levels needs it

The Rise and Rise of Rakep, and Other Stories


This blogger has heard it on the grapevine that Rakep Rajendra Patel, is set to be confirmed as the captain o the Kenya men’s national cricket team. The Top Order bowler slash part time off spin bowler slash back up wicket keeper has been in the national team since 2007 is  be taking over the captaincy from Collins Obuya, who had been captain of the team since 2011

Cricket Kenya Logo
Cricket Kenya Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I believe (though not 100%) that at just over 24 years old Rakep has become the youngest person to be handed the reins of the national cricket. The next youngest (as far as my memory tells me) being when a 25 year old Maurice Odumbe was asked to captain Kenya’s team to the 1996 Cricket World Cup.

I feel, that circumstances aside, his appointment represents a unique opportunity for the national team to take a new direction under a person, hopefully for the betterment of the team as a whole.

Mind you this is not Rakep’s first ever significant captaincy assignment, as he has a back ground of captaining Kenya’s U19 national team, the EAPL franchises Kanbis Tigers and Express Ndovu as well as being a leading light in the Kanbis ‘A’ team that has pretty much dominated the NPCA leagues this past decade.

In addition to that, with former Kenya captains: Collins Obuya, Morris Ouma, Thomas Odoyo, Ragheb Aga, and possibly Steve Tikolo active and available for selection, he will not lack for a ‘council of elders’ to harvest input from

His immediate task is to rally the team to get one of the last two slots for the 2015 Cricket world Cup in Australia and New Zealand, that will be contested in New Zealand early next year. What is on the line is not just a 6th consecutive appearance on the biggest stage in world cricket for Kenya’s men’s team, but access to a bunch of grants and credits which are presently the largest source of steady funding for Cricket Kenya as a organization.  They will pretty much be playing for their livelihoods there.

This will not be easy given Kenya won only 4 of the 10 matches against the teams they will be facing in New Zealand, in the earlier  stages of the qualifiers.

Nonetheless, he can take heart that they did beat Ireland, who booked an early ticket to said world cup by winning the WCL league, fairly convincingly, so the ability is there.

In conclusion this blogger assumes that the appointment  of Rakep Patel is made with the long term in mind. let us hope that it goes well. GOOD LUCK TO YOU RAKEP!