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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Cause for alarm

Kenyan cricket players during a recent match. /COURTESY
Kenyan cricket players during a recent match. /COURTESY

National cricket team technical bench have expressed their concern over the player’s commitment after failing to sparkle at the ‘Tour Uganda’.

Kenya engaged the hosts in a five-match competition where, heading into last evenings final round, the visitors were still looking for their first win, losing three and having the other washed out.

Moments after losing the fourth match by six wickets for the Ugandans to take a 3-0 lead, Kenyan players were left on their own to contemplate on the future of the team and theirs too.

Speaking on the side-lines of Lugogo Oval where the home team chased a revised target of 186 with five overs to go, assistant coach Peter Ongondo said the players have failed to live up to the expectations.

“We have told the players that they are the ones playing the game and not us. We can give them the advice they want but we will not cross the boundary line, so they have to find where they are letting themselves down,” said Ongondo.

In the recent past, Kenya has been putting on poor results that has put their chances of joining the top cricketing nations in doubts. After only winning two matches in their latest six ICC WCLC matches, the Uganda series was expected to give the team confidence ahead of their next ICC WCLC fixture against Netherlands but that seems not to be the case as Uganda have rolled over them.

“It’s very clear that they have not executed the game plan that we have given them. They have to come up with their own game plan,” he added

Ongondo expressed his shock with the challenge they have received from their hosts saying they have improved tremendously.

“When we were coming here (Uganda) we didn’t expect these. We thought Kenya is strong and we will come and roll over but to our shock we have come up a side that is playing good cricket. If people back home (Kenya) can see how Uganda is playing they will be shocked,” he said.

Late last year, Uganda invited Kenya for a series of matches and Kenya honoured by sending a weak side which lost all the matches.

And when Uganda sent out another invite to Kenya they asked Cricket Kenya to send the national team which CK obliged. Ongondo added that Uganda have improved in all aspect of the game.

In the past, Uganda batsmen could go for boundaries more often and that’s why they looked beatable. But now they are playing with the run rate which shows they have matured. They have also improved as a team and have a good work ethics as a team,” the former national team seamer said.

He however said the team has been able to learn few lessons. We haven’t come out of the tour empty handed,” he said.

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