Cricket Kenya has urged Kenya Secondary and Kenya Primary Schools Sports Associations to include cricket in its annual Sports calendar so as to tap the budding talent and increase the games popularity.
Speaking in Busia during the training of 20 coaches drawn from various schools, the Cricket Kenya development director Thomas Odoyo urged schools to embrace the game.
Odoyo, who is a former Kenyan international and captain affirmed kenya’s ability to perform well in the sport.
Busia is the second county after Embu that CK is visiting to popularize the game and tap talents.
“After the launch of the Sports Act in 2013, the game of cricket was only centred in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Nakuru. We now want to spread it to 23 other counties, including Busia, which are registered members of CK,” he said.
He added: ” To show our seriousness in tapping cricket talents in Busia county, we shall post a coach to work with the county’s department of sports. He will be visit various schools to identify potential talents and submit regular reports to Cricket Kenya headquarters for necessary action.”
” We shall establish a centre in one of the schools with better facilities after signing a memorandum of understanding. CK will also use an AstroTurf to facilitate training of players from other schools within the county,” Odoyo said.
Odoyo noted that cricket has taken him far and wide with his blistering performance both locally and internationally, urging youths to join the sport and attain international acclaim.
He admitted that talents abound at the grassroots, thus the need by Cricket Kenya to tap such talents by putting structures in place to restore the country’s lost glory in the game.
Kenya was part of the East Africa cricket team, which became an associate member of the International Cricket Council ( ICC )in 1966; and competed in the first World Cup the same year.
Kenya first competed as an independent nation at the 1996 Cricket World Cup, after which they were given full One Day International (ODI) status, which they held until 2014, when they finished fifth in the 2014 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Kenya’s best performance at the Cricket World Cup was in 2003; where they reached the semi-finals, shrugging off challenges from top cricket nations. Odoyo was part of that Keyan squad that brought glory to the country.
Going into the 2003 World Cup, Australia were the favourites followed by a resurgent India led by Sourav Ganguly. But minnows Kenya coached by Sandip Patil surprised one and all by making it to the semi-final.
Report by Absalom Namwalo