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Kenyan cricket team faces big tests against
Rwanda, Uganda in ICC T20 qualifiers   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan cricket coach Maurice Odumbe hopes to stop his team’s free fall as they take on Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania in the the upcoming East Africa ICC World T20 qualifiers in Kigali.

After a poor showing in Harare, Zimbabwe in April, Odumbe has recalled bowler Elijah Otieno back in the squad after he fell out with Cricket Kenya management over contract and discipline issues.

But he is expected to be the steel around which Odumbe will tie the silver lining of his young squad. Otieno was meant to be part of Kenya’s team to Zimbabwe in April, but missed out.

Otieno will replace Peter Lagat.

Another player to have been dropped is 19-year-old batsman Thomas Ochieng, while wicket-keeper Irfan Karim has failed to travel with the squad, forcing Odumbe to recall Rushab Patel.

The tournament will be played as part of the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 qualification and will also mark the first time that Rwanda will be hosting an International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament.

The week-long tourney will start with Kenya playing Uganda on Saturday and will end on July 15.

The round robin tourney will see the best two teams compete at the Africa Regional Finals, to be held in 2019.

The regional ICC World T20 qualifiers tournament in Rwanda is one of the three African sub-regional events, along with the north-western sub region qualifiers (staged in Nigeria) and the southern sub region qualifiers to be held in Botswana.

The top two teams in each of the three groups will advance to the Africa’s finals tournament, which will determine two countries that will compete at the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.

The ICC in a release said that in general, there will be 12 regional qualifiers across the world, with 62 teams competing during 2018 in five regions - Africa (3 groups), Americas (2), Asia (2), East Asia Pacific (2) and Europe (3).

The top 25 sides from these will then contest five regional finals in 2019, with eight teams then going on to compete in the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, along with the six lowest ranked sides from the current ICC T20 Championship.

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