Sports / Updates
Thursday, 27 Oct 2016 18:48 EATtmatalanga@kenyafreepress.com
Kenya is set to host its first international cricket match at home in four years when it will play Hong Kong in the World Cricket qualifiers next month at the Nairobi Gymkana Club. The government and Cricket Kenya had to assure the International Cricket Council (ICC) that it would be safe to have the match hosted following series of attacks in 2012 by Al Shabaab militants.
Kenya, currently placed sixth, with five points needs to beat Hong Kong to boost its chances of making it to the ICC World Cup to be held in Wales and England in 2019. This comes after they lost their last match in the World Crickect League Championships to Papua New Guinea in June.
The other five nations taking part in the qualifiers are Scotland, Nepal, Namibia, United Arab Emirates and Holland. The top four nations will qualify to take part in the World Cup come 2019. Should Kenya succeed in qualifying it will be eight years since their last appearance in the World Cup.
The national criket team will need a lot more to achieve this feat, because the sport has been declining in the country over the last few years. Its popularity has gone down. Kenya's rich history in cricket is nowadays only a memory. The sorry state of the sport in Kenya has further adversely affected the sport which produced legends such as Maurice Odumbe and Steve Tikolo, arguably Kenya's most celebrated cricket players,
The cricket body and its officials must take a prime share of the blame for the current situation the sport is in. Corruption and negligence by stakeholders in cricket management and countless blame games will not help revive the deteriorating fate of Kenyan cricket. Involvement, and general participation by enthusiasts of the sport is sorely required.
Kenya should approach the match against Hong Kong with confidence. They should give it their all . The national body, Cricket Kenya, should publicise these games as much as possible, so that more Kenyans turn up to cheer and encourage the national team to triumph. We need to restore Kenya's rich cricket history.
Matalanga is a student of journalism at the East Africa School of Media Studies and an intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.