Odumbe sets eyes on ICC promotion: Kenya won the Eastern Sub-regional T20 qualifiers

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Tuesday, July 17th 2018 at 00:14 GMT +3 | Cricket
Kenya's Batsman Dhiren Gondaria during quadrangular Cricket Tournament at Nairobi Gympkana on Wednesday, Sept 28, 2016. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

Kenya was demoted to Division Three in February this year following poor performance in Division Two WCL.

After a successful outing in his first major assignment at the just concluded International Cricket Council (ICC) 2020 Twenty20 World Cup Africa B qualifiers, national team coach Maurice Odumbe believes that it is no time to make merry.

He said that with a crucial ICC World Cricket League Division Three challenge lined up next for Kenya, they will have to continue training so they can improve. “We will have to keep batting and bowling because that is what makes a winning cricketer. The boys played well in Rwanda and we achieved our aim of qualifying for Africa Regional finals. Nonetheless, we have a very critical task later in the year and we have to be at our best so we can perform well and take one step up the ladder,” Odumbe said.

Odumbe one of Kenya’s finest cricketers represented the country on the global scene in his heydays and was in the team that made history reaching the semi-finals of 2003 World Cup. Despite losing to India by 91 runs in the semis it was a glorious moment for Kenya. However, Kenya failed to build on their achievements and has been slowly sinking with the worst moment being a free fall from to Division Three.

He remains optimistic that all is not lost and Kenya has a chance to rise from the ashes and repossess it’s rightfully place in the world. “We will rise again, it is unfortunate that we had to sink this low, Even so, we don’t need to live in denial but accept and work hard to reclaim our lost glory,” Odumbe said.  

He took over from former teammate Thomas Odoyo who resigned after Kenya performed poorly in the WCLC finishing fifth behind Netherlands, Scotland, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea. Kenya’s performance changed from bad to taking a further nose dive to Division Three after losing all their Division Two WCL matches to United Arab Emirates, Nepal, Namibia, Oman and Canada.

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He launched his coaching career in style winning the Eastern Sub-Region title after winning five of their six encounters. Kenya completed a whitewash against Tanzania and Rwanda but lost their last match to by seven wickets Uganda who they had beaten by five wickets in the tournament opener.

With the victory, Kenya together with second finishers Uganda qualified for the regional qualifiers where they will be battling for ticket to Australia for the ICC 2020 T20 World Cup. The Kenyan batsmen also displayed improvement with Alex Obanda smashing 108 against Tanzania while Dhiren Gondaria hit 90 past Ugandan bowlers in the opener. Collins Obuya and Rakep Patel also scored half centuries. Odumbe concluded that he will also be seeking to strengthen the bowlers ahead of their next international duty.


Africa B qualifiers standings

Team               played             won     lost      points

Kenya                   6                    5          1           10

Uganda                6                    4          2             8

Tanzania               6                    3         3             6

Rwanda                6                    0          6             0