By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s best cricket player in decades Maurice
Odumbe and Steve Tikolo might have played together for the
national team, but they will be worst of enemies as they guide
their teams in the weeklong regional East Africa ICC World T20
Africa B qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda.
The two teams meet
Sunday and later Uganda and Kenya will continue their ICC World
T20 Africa B qualifiers over the next week with a repeat
fixture, as well as two games apiece against Rwanda and
Odumbe will be
having his second match as head coach of Kenya team after he
lost out to Zimbabwe last month while Tikolo, who has some
experience under his belt, will be in charge of the Uganda team.
Host Rwanda and
Tanzania are the two other teams in the competition, in which
the best two teams will sail through to the Africa level.
During their best
days on the cricket turf, Odumbe and Tikolo led Kenya to their
maiden World Cup semifinals in South Africa back in 2004.
But a lot of water
has gone down the bridge and today they lead their two teams in
a bid to redeem their stakes in the sport.
“It is not about us
coaches. But the chance for Kenya to progress through the
qualification and restore its glory on the global scene. Tikolo
is a good player and coach and we have a lot in common, but the
competition has new parameters,” said Odumbe.
Odumbe and Tikolo
shared a number of memorable moments until when they were
separated in 2005. Odumbe was banned by International Cricket
Council (ICC) while Tikolo retired from the game.
Now Odumbe wants to
prove Kenya is still the kings in the region. Odumbe took over
from Thomas Odoyo after Kenya dropped down to Division Three of
the World Cricket League early this year.
In 1992, Kenya was
ranked 24th in the world. After 1996, the country was
acknowledged as the greatest emerging cricket country in the
world especially after it beat the mighty West Indies at the
Cricket World Cup the same year.
In 2003, the
national team reached the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup
where India won by 91 runs.
But it has been a
free fall for Kenya since as player contracts were not honored
and poor administration crept in. However, Odumbe believes, the
team has started a slow painful path up the ladder back to its
Kenyan cricket team faces big
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
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.
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.
Uganda set to battle in 2020
ICC World Twenty20 eastern Africa region qualifier
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Uganda’s national cricket team on Thursday set
off for neighboring Rwanda where it will battle with other east
African countries in the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 Africa Region
Uganda will face off
against Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda in the tournament that will
run on July 7-14.
The top two teams
will represent the eastern African region in the regional finals
where the best two African teams will qualify for the 2020 ICC
captain of the Ugandan team, told Xinhua that they are
determined to go all the way to qualify and represent Africa.
“Playing at the ICC
World Twenty20 is also our dream as a team,” Mukasa said.
last month to feature in the more competitive ICC World Cricket
League Division 3 after it won the 2018 ICC World Cricket League
Division 4 tournament held in Malaysia.
tournament will be played on a double round robin format (teams
play each other twice) with the top two sides moving on the next
round of qualifiers.
on-going all over the world with three taking place in Africa.
The first African sub-regional qualifier (north-western sub
region) was held with hosts Nigeria and Ghana qualifying. The
southern sub-region qualifiers will be held in Bostwana.
The top two teams in
each group of the three qualifiers will advance to the regional
finals tournament, which will determine the two African entrants
to the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.
The Ugandan squad
includes Roger Mukasa (Captain), Brian Masaba, Hamu Kayondo,
Dinesh Nakrani, Deus Muhumuza, Riazat Shah, Irfan Afridi, Henry
Ssenyondo, Frank Nsubuga, Kenneth Waiswa, Fred Achelam, Charles
Waiswa, Bilal Hassun and Ronak Patel.