Kenya’s Cricket team to sail into uncharted waters

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Wednesday, December 27th 2017 at 21:14 GMT +3 | Cricket
The National U19 cricket team at Simba Club yesterday. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The national Under-19 cricket team captain is confident that Kenya will shine at the 2018 International Cricket Council World Cup set for January 13 to February 3 in New Zealand.

Seeing it as the beginning of Kenya’s chance to redeem its lost cricket glory, Sachin Bhudia said his charges are determined to leave a mark at the global event.

“Most of us in the team were just toddlers when Kenya last played in the Under-19 World Cup. It is a great honour to represent the country and we are determined to make an impact because it has taken the country 16 years to achieve this,” Bhudia said.

He added that despite being in a tough Group A that also has homeboys New Zealand, defending champions West Indies, and former holders South Africa, they are ready to face the experienced sides.

“We are prepared for the challenge. We have resolved not to fall for the fear of the big names but focus on the task at hand. Winning is all about mental strength and I believe we have what it takes to face any team.”

His sentiments were echoed by team coach Jimmy Kamande, who said he had confidence in his players’ abilities.

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“I have full faith in my players’ abilities. They fought hard to earn their place in the World Cup and I know they will carry the same fighting spirit to the global tournament,” Kamande said.

Kamande, a former Kenya international, will return to the junior event as a coach, having represented the country in the 1998 Under-19 World Cup.

“My players are excited and looking forward to officially launching their cricket careers because it is at this age group events where it all starts. It will be the beginning of their journey in the sport and I’m confident they will give their best,” he said.

The team is expected to leave the country tomorrow for Australia for friendly matches against Sydney Thunder ahead of the global event.

From Australia, they will go to New Zealand for two warm-up matches before taking on South Africa in their opening match on Day Two of the championships.

Kenya will once again rely on opening batsman Aman Gandhi for glory. He was instrumental in Kenya’s campaign at the continental qualifiers.

Others are bowlers Maxwel Ager, Abhishek Chidambaran, and Gerald Mwendwa.