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February 22, 2018

Political instability denies Kenya top ICC event

Kenya's Collins Obuya watches the ball after playing a shot during a Cricket World Cup warm-up match against the West Indies in Colombo February 12, 2011.jpg
Kenya's Collins Obuya watches the ball after playing a shot during a Cricket World Cup warm-up match against the West Indies in Colombo February 12, 2011.jpg

Kenya will have to wait a little longer to host another major International Cricket Council (ICC) event after the long-awaited World Cricket League Championship matches between Kenya and the Netherlands was been moved from Nairobi to South African city of East London.

The matches were set to be held at Nairobi Gymkhana Kenya on October 6 and 8 but they have been moved away after the Netherlands were reluctant to travel to Kenya over security concerns.

Netherlands had agreed to play in Nairobi and were already in Zimbabwe ahead of the two crucial matches but they raised security concerns in the wake of the repeat presidential election set for October 17.

Netherlands cricket body - KNCB - made strong representations to the International Cricket Council (ICC), who after a thorough risk analysis, decided to move the two matches to East London.

Cricket Kenya also worked around the clock to ensure that the event is held in Nairobi for the second time but the current political temperature didn’t help their case.

For years, Kenya had failed to host major ICC events until last year when they were given the rights to host Hong Kong.

The matches are crucial for both teams. The Netherlands currently lead the competition and are chasing the prospect of a place in the projected 13-team ODI League which is awaiting confirmation by the ICC, while Kenya have an outside chance of finishing in the top four and reaching next year’s World Cup qualifier without having to go through World Cricket League Division 2.

The final round will be played in the UAE in December where the Dutch will play against Namibia and Kenya face Scotland.

Scotland, who are third and are expected to face Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on October 6 and 8.

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