Cricket Kenya’s Alamo


In the year 1836, a battle was fort between American settlers and Mexican settlers over a fort in what is now

This commemorative coin, marking 100 years sin...
This commemorative coin, marking 100 years since Texas declared independence from Mexico, includes the phrase “Remember the Alamo”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

modern day Texas. Though the odds were against them , and in due course  they Americans lost what has now gone down in history as ‘The Battle of the Alamo‘ the outpouring support and the subsequent revenge mission is a big part not only in the US acquiring what is now its largest state geographically (Texas), and a massive part of the pride that residents of that state have in who they are to this day.

History aside all intents and purposes this qualifying edition is as important to the fate of Kenya’s national team as the said battle of the Alamo. In early January, Kenya’s youngest national captain will be leading Kenya’s national team. As i have pointed out in other posts, the outcome of Kenya’s attempts to qualify for this world cup will be felt, not just on the pitch but in the ability of Cricket Kenya to grow the game in the country.

So who has been tasked with the duty of making it happen? (world cup qualification) This is the list I have seen going around on social media:Rakep Patel (captain), Ragheb Aga, Duncan Allan, Irfan Karim, Shem Ngoche, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Nelson Odhiambo, Thomas Odoyo, Lameck Onyango, Elijah Otieno, Morris Ouma, Steve Tikolo, and Hiren Varaiya

What is surprising about this squad, is not so much who was selected, but who wasn’t. In terms of changes from the last squad (from the T20 World Cup Qualifiers) Lameck Onyango has been brought out of retirement, and Steve Tikolo is doubling up as interim head coach. Ignored were, Lucas Oluoch (a left arm fast medium bowler in pretty good form as I hear), Dominic Wesonga (an all rounder), and Tanmay Mishra (currently holder of the highest ODI batting average of all Kenyans) among others.

All three’s cricket careers have developed during the existence of Cricket Kenya, and their being overlooked (particularly Mishra over some small spat they should reasonably have gotten over by now) is worrying. Nevertheless, this squad must put all this aside for the moment and find a way to finish among the top two nations at the World Cup qualifiers,and hope that the result can reverberate in the same positive way that the Alamo did for Texas.

Scraping the Barrel? Cricket Kenya brings back the old guard.


It seems Kenya’s recent debacle against Afghanistan has got alarm bells ringing up in the higher echelons of Cricket Kenya. 42 year old Steve Tikolo and national assistant coach Thomas Odoyo have been brought out of retirement to try get Kenya into the World T20 World Cup scheduled for early next year. Kenya has only ever qualified for one such world cup and the less we dwell on it went for the national team at that tournament the better.

The issue at hand is that with the decision to pick these old hands ahead of such young prospects as Lucas Oluoch, Dominic Wesonga, even slightly younger veterans like Rajesh Bhudiya (subject to work obligations) and Tanmay Mishra, (subject to the resolution of the unexplained ‘disciplinary issues’) Cricket Kenya is pretty much admitting without saying it that Kenya’s cricketing programs just don’t make players good enough for international matches anymore. It is no secret that outside of Nairobi, cricket has shallower roots than the proverbial sugarcane, but surely has it gotten this bad? This blog has long advocated for a concerted effort to organise an expansion program across Kenya’s 47 counties, through schools and feeder clubs just so we wouldn’t end up in this situation. At present outside of the maverick efforts of various cricket academies, there isn’t much to be said about concrete steps to get the nation of Kenya playing cricket.

Anyway, that is a story for another day. The squad selected for the World Cup qualifying tournament , left for a series of warm up matches in Sri Lanka before heading out the qualifier tournament that will run from the middle to the end November. The best six teams at the November qualifier will go into a preliminary round of the World Cup, where they will fight it out with ICC half members Zimbabwe and Bangladesh for the final two spots at the World Cup proper. As much as I want the selection of there two legends of Kenyan cricket to work out for the best and Kenya rediscover the magic of years gone by, surely they ought to have passed the mantle to a new generation, no?