August 16th 2017

Sports / Updates

Cricket legend Asif Karim launches biography, calls for creation of Sports Ministry

"I am appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to the rescue of sports, by creating a full-time sports ministry", said Karim who was the captain of the national cricket and lawn tennis teams in his younger days.

By David JagongoWednesday, 24 May 2017 19:15 EAT

Former Five-Time World Cross Country Champion Paul Tergat (second right) and Asif Karim (right) share a lighthearted moment during the launch Karim's book in Nairobi today.

Creation of full fledged sports ministry will be a key way forward in the development of sports in the country, former Kenya cricket and tennis captain Asif Karim said Wednesday. Fielding questions from the press after launching his book titled, The Karims: A Sporting Dynasty, in Nairobi, Karim said its time the Government created a sports ministry dedicated solely for the development of sports a notch higher.

Today, the Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario docekt includes arts and culture, which many sports enthusiasts say takes away the focus on sports. Karim, whose journey started in 1975, at the age of 12, also took issue with the current sports structures, describing them as outdated and in need of review. He is a former lower-order batsman and  left arm spinner who played in the One Day Internationals (ODI) and Davis Cup tennis matches and the ICC World Cup.

''There is alot of backstabbing and infighting among sports administrators, the structure is outdated and needs restructuring, said Karim who also has a dim view of some sports administrators. He said those who genuinely love sports and care for the future of Kenyan sports should ensure that only those who are truly dedicated to sports should be elected to serve in national federations.

"I am appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to the rescue of sports, by creating a full-time sports ministry", said Karim who was the captain of the national cricket and lawn tennis teams in his younger days. Karim, also a businessman and one of the few sports personalities who have put their thoughts, views and opinions in writing-through book writing, is also disturbed by the downward spiral of cricket, the sport he so much loves.

The launching of the book also coincided with the 25the year anniversary of the Aristocrats Insurance, a company owned by Karim family. As far as cricket is concerned, we are in ground zero, Cricket Kenya (CK) management should convene a two-day forum, bring together all stakeholders to chart the way forward.

He said Kenya lost golden opportunities in the late 90's and the start of new millenneum, when the national team featured in the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and other top notch events, "That  was when we should have put in place nursery system, and spread the game to schools and estates near cricket grounds where the sport had gained popularity among youngsters", he said.

The nursery would have served as a good feeder network for the senior national team, because it provides the constant supply of talent to the senior team. The Karim family link with sports, especially cricket stretches back 60 years, starting with his grandfather, who played social cricket in India, later his father in Mombasa, himself and his son. It cuts across four generations

The launch was attended by sports personalities, among them former five-time World Cross Country Champions Paul Tergat. Also in attendance was former Kenya Rugby Union chairman Mwangi Muthee, now head of the IAAF World U-18 Champion Local Organizing Committee chairman,sports media, among many others.

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