Bhudia replaces Ngoche as national cricket team captain

Kanbis Sports Club captain Sachin Bhudia. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kanbis Sports Club all-rounder Sachin Bhudia replaced long-serving national team captain Shem Ngoche as head coach David Obuya yesterday named his squad for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier in Kigali, Rwanda.

Kenya will battle with Rwanda, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi, Seychelles, Mali and St. Helena in the Sub Regional Africa A Qualifier that will be held on November 15-26.

Top two teams from the round robin contest will join the winner and runner up of the Africa Sub-Regional Qualifier B tournament (December 1-9) in the regional final alongside Namibia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The top two teams from the regional event will proceed to the World Cup which will be hosted by the West Indies and the United States.

"I feel proud to captain the senior team for the very first time in my life. We will give our best in Kigali, we hope to finish the tournament on top," Bhudia told Standard Sports.

"I can't see any side blocking Kenya from making it to the next round of the qualifier."

The skipper pledged to cultivate confidence in the team, the same way he did way back in 2018 when he steered the national U-19 side to the ICC World Cup in New Zealand where Kenya finished 13th overall.

"I'm hopeful to bring the same experience we had in New Zealand into the squad, I will also rely on Ngoche for advice since he is well versed and experienced," Bhudia underscored.

Ngoche, 33, has been the national team captain since 2018.

The Stray Lions bowler took over from the 2003 South Africa World Cup talisman Collins Obuya.

Ngoche's latest stint at home was against visiting Nepal where he steered Kenya to a five T20 and a three ODI contests held at the Nairobi Gymkhana.

Despite being optimistic, Obuya admitted they have not had enough time to prepare ahead of their departure to Kigali on November 15.

"Eight days are not enough to set up a national team for a continental duty, but I'm very hopeful, I will mostly rely on experience," Obuya stated.

As the first step in a robust bid to get the game out of its knees, the Cricket Kenya Selection Panel, led by its chairman Alfred Njuguna, also appointed Lucas Oluoch of Nairobi Gymkhana as the team's vice captain. [email protected]

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