After yet again missing the ticket to the International Cricket Council Under-19s World Cup, Kenya coach Thomas Odoyo has called upon Cricket Kenya and Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association to set up junior leagues and set up age group cricket.
Odoyo who saw Kenya fail to make it to next year’s World Cup in Bangladesh after losing to Uganda and minnows Botswana in the qualifiers in Dar es Salaam Tanzania said that was the only way Kenya can make it to the 2018 ICC U-19 World Cup.
“We need to set up junior leagues to raise players for both the current U-19s and those that will be in this team in a year or so. These leagues will expose the players at a young age and we will not have the same problems we had in Tanzania,” Odoyo said.
“In a few months we will be back into another qualifier. We will need to have a competition for the players,” he added.
He said Kenya lost in Tanzania due to panic and failure by the players to adjust to pitch conditions.
“We were beaten by pressure. Not that we were a bad team or that players were not prepared. In the two losses to Uganda and Botswana the players kept on panicking when we had the matches in control. As a coach, I don’t know what I could have done to make them not panic. If we could have handled that, we would be telling a different story now,” Odoyo added.
Odoyo said, the hot conditions in Tanzania did not favour most of the teams. “It was a mixed day of awkward cricket and both teams found it difficult to play. On a couple of occasions we let ourselves down with poor shot selection, but we were a bit surprised with how the pitch played and it was pretty tough out there at times,” he added.