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February 18, 2019

Odumbe sacked: CK allege the coach is unwell but the latter rubbishes claims as untrue

Maurice Ouma produced a match winning show with 4 for 9
Maurice Ouma produced a match winning show with 4 for 9 /REUTERS

Former national team coach Maurice Odumbe has been sacked as the national cricket team head coach.

Odumbe’s name was left out as the national team sought visas to South Africa for this week’s Africa Twenty20 Cup.

The government-appointed Cricket Kenya Interim Committee, which has partly been running the affairs of the game since the resignation of three board members, opted not to include the veteran cricketer in the 15-man traveling party, claiming he is unwell and yet to recover from an eye surgery he underwent last month.

Lameck Onyango, who has been Odumbe’s assistant since his appointment in April, will lead the team in the Africa cricket showpiece.

In a rejoinder, Odumbe, who looked fit as he turned up for his club side Stray Lions in a league match against Stray Lions at Eastleigh High School, rubbished the claims for his omission from the South Africa-bound team. He instead asked the Interim Committee to come out clear on why he is not in the team.

“They are not being sincere with the public. How can I be unwell yet I have played two league matches in the last two weeks. They are not sure with what they want to do with our cricket and not genuine too. That’s why they had to come up with this ‘cock and bull’ story,” Odumbe said after the first inning between Kanbis vs Stray Lions tie where he claimed two wickets

However, sources close to the team, claimed that Odumbe was dropped after failing to live up to the demands of the coach.

“Odumbe has allegedly been accused by a section of the players for failing to live up to the challenge. He also lacks commitment to work and has on several occasions failed to show up for training,” the sources hinted. The sources noted that Onyango has, on several occasions, been in charge of training sessions as Odumbe stays away.

A player who sought anonymity said: “This has been our toughest moment in the team. We hardly have proper training sessions. He (Odumbe) comes late or fails show up totally. If he happens to come for training, he will either sit and read the newspaper or leave without even saying a word.”

Another player interviewed claimed the head coach duties seems too big for the former Kenyan all rounder. “As much as we appreciate what he did in his heydays, this job was too big for him. He is clueless on what needs to be done at this level. It would have been good if he was assigned alternative duties if they really wanted to accommodate him but not the national team,” said the player.

However, Odumbe blamed the interim committee, claiming they have not given him the platform to execute his duties. He added that a section of the players were either lazy and not ready to embrace changes. He said CK are yet to pay him his full dues.


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