The men’s national cricket team batting coach Maurice Odumbe is contented with his current position. Terming it an opportunity to rebuild his life, career and also give back to the sport that made him a household name in his heyday, the former national team skipper is yearning to see Kenya reclaim its lost cricket glory.
Once a people’s darling not just in Kenya but in top cricketing countries like India and Pakistan, Odumbe lost favour with his ardent fans in 2004 when he was banned for five years. However, he says that all that is in his past and he has put it all behind him. “What happened then is in the past. I am only concerned with the future, Cricket Kenya gave me a new lease of life with the appointment and my only desire is to see Kenya return to the World Cup and reclaim the ODI status,” Odumbe said.
He added that he was ready to face the world, redeem his image and win the hearts of his followers once again. “I refuse to allow what happened in the past define my future. I am ready to go out there and face the world. I had very many followers and I still believe that they are keen to know what I am currently doing for cricket and also what the future holds for me,” he addded.
Odumbe seized the opportunity to set the record straight, saying that contrary to what the world had been made to believe since his ban in 2004, the truth is totally different. “I was banned for inappropriate conduct and not match fixing as many have been made to believe all along. Even so, it's history now and I have gotten over it.”
Together with head coach Thomas Odoyo and assistant coach Peter Ongondo, they are currently preparing the team for the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Championships clash against Scotland to be played next month in Dubai. Even though he will not be travelling with the team, Odumbe said he was only focused on positive results. [By Elizabeth Mburugu]