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SPORTS

Tikolo upbeat of Kenya making 2015 ICC World Cup

SPORTS By BY OSCAR PILIPILI | December 22nd 2013

BY OSCAR PILIPILI

KENYA: National cricket team interim coach/player Steve Tikolo is optimistic about Kenya’s qualification to the 2015 ICC World Cup.

The veteran all-rounder will be in charge of the team that is preparing for 2015 World Cup Qualifiers scheduled to take place in New Zealand next month.

He said: “Kenya chances in the qualifiers are good considering that the top two teams, out of participating ten, qualify for the World Cup.”

“We have played against all teams we are going to meet in New Zealand and understand their weak and strong points. We’re ready to play our best cricket and claim one of the World Cup slots,” he said.

Kenya plays in Group “B” alongside Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Uganda and the Netherlands.

The top three teams here join three top finishers in Group A for deciding Super Six Stage. Super Six finalists qualify for the World Cup.

“We aim to play well and qualify for Super Six Stage and thereafter plan what next,” he said during training at Ruaraka Sports Club yesterday.

Kenyan team departs for New Zealand on January 6, one month after failing to qualify for 2014 ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Dubai.

But Tikolo insists that his players gained valuable experience in Dubai that would be of great use.

“We let down ourselves in Dubai and we’re rectifying the mistakes we committed and be ready come January,” he said.

Tikolo pointed that the bowling order was shaky in Dubai and to strengthen the unit he has called up experienced Lameck Onyango who will play the role of opening bowler.

Onyango replaces upcoming star Dhiren Gondaria who was not fielded in Dubai.

Kenya opens their World Cup qualifiers with a match against Papua New Guinea on January 12.

Experienced Thomas Odoyo also has double roles in the team as he is player/assistant coach.

Looking at the composition of the team, Cricket Kenya strategists are banking on experience to see Kenya through to the World Cup.

Team Kenya: Rakep Patel (cap), Ragheb Aga, Duncan Allan, Irfan Karim, Shem Ngoche, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Nelson Odhiambo, Thomas Odoyo, Lameck Onyango, Elijah Otieno, Morris Ouma, Steve Tikolo, Hiren Varaiya.                            

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