Kenya face Ghana in the ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Africa Division Qualifiers in Abuja, Nigeria this morning.
Team captain Vishil Patel has indicated they will keep the game simple and straight in the 50 Over tournament being contested by eight nations.
“We are out to win all the matches, for us to do so we will take each game at a time,” the 17-year-old Ruaraka Sports Club bowler told Standard Sports.
The Nairobi Premier Academy student feels its only Ghana and Malawi that pose a threat to the country in Group A pool that also has Mozambique.
“We have not met any of the opponents before, but beating Ghana on Friday will give us the momentum to tackle the remaining opponents in the tournament,” Patel said.
Against Ghana, Patel hopes to convert valuable lessons he learnt last month from his international debut against Nepal at the Nairobi Gymkhana.
He played the opening One Day International (ODI) where he had a descend performance against Nepal, picking his first debut wicket in the game.
“It was a big privilege featuring for Kenya in the senior team, I was honoured to play against established world beaters like the Nepalese captain Sandeep Lamichhane who is a globe trotter in some of the finest leagues on earth.
“From the Nepal outing, I learnt valuable lessons and tips that I’m ready to unleash on Ghana and our other rivals,” Patel said. Before they step on the pitch in Abuja today, Patel is of the opinion that they should perfect on their batting techniques in order to be solid in their innings.
“I believe this will be key to scoring good runs in this tournament,” he stated.
Patel also said he was greatly honoured to be the skipper of the squad, especially in his first international contest outside the country.
“It feels good to steer the country in such a big event, I promise to guide the team well and deliver on our promise to Kenyans,” he said.
Interestingly, Patel was never introduced to the sport by anyone as non of his parents even play the game.
“I had a passion for the sport since childhood, I just never used to take it seriously. I only became committed to it when I started playing club cricket, from there is when I gradually built it up to this current level.”
Patel reiterates that the sport has developed him to become a team player.
“I work well with others, I’m also a very fast thinker, and above all my fitness is on another level,” he said.