Partnership deal: Sri Lanka ready to work with Kenya in cricket and athletics

By -: Thursday, December 19th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Cricket

By Oscar Pilipili

Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera bats against South Africa as wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock watches during their third One Day International (ODI) cricket match in July. [PHOTO: AP]

The Kenyan and Sri Lankan Governments have signed an agreement that will help develop the sport of cricket and athletics in the country.

The sport agreement was among the eight memoranda of understandings (MOUs) signed between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Sri Lanka colleague Mahinda Rajapaksa when they held bilateral talks at State House Nairobi last week.

The Sri Lankan president was among the heads of state who were in the country for the [email protected] Jubilee celebrations held last Thursday at the Moi International Sports Complex in Kasarani.

A statement by the Sri Express news said: “A programme will also be launched for the development of cricket and athletics. Sri Lanka will send cricket coaches to Kenya and receive trainers from Kenya for athletics.”

Cricket Kenya (CK) Chairperson Jackie Janmohammed welcomed the development, which she described as “great news.”

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Good news

“That is fantastic news for Kenyan cricket. Sri Lanka has been a good friend of Kenyan cricket over the years and a closer working relationship will help development of the sport in our country,” an excited Janmohammed told FeverPitch on yesterday.

To underline Sri Lanka’s commitment in supporting Kenyan cricket, JanMohammed recalled that national team trained in the sub-continent country ahead of the last ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers.

“Sri Lanka offered us one quality build-up match and we were happy with their generosity,” she said.

Athletics Kenya Secretary General David Okeyo also welcomed the news saying they were open to the idea although they were yet to be informed by the Government.

Athlete exposure

“The idea will help expose Sri Lankan athletes to quality training and create employment for local coaches,” he said.

Okeyo also revealed that they had a similar idea with Jamaica but the deal was nipped in the bud when athletics administration in the Caribbean country that is famous for its dominance in sprints was changed.

Sri Lanka is yet to break the ceiling in track and field and a chance to train its athletes in Kenya might just help them break the duck.

Sri Lanka is a Test Nation and any long term partnership with Kenya will benefit cricket in terms of skill development. Kenya and Sri Lanka are not new to each other on the cricket front.

The two countries met in the group stage of the 1996 ICC World Cup where Sri Lanka knocked Kenya out by 145 runs. The huge defeat came just days after Kenya, a non-Test playing Nation, had pulled off the most sensational upset during the sixth edition of ICC World Cup when they trounced the mighty West Indies by 73 runs. 

 — [email protected]