Celebrated cricketers Steve Tikolo and Martin Suji have been axed by Cricket Kenya from their coaching roles at the association.
Tikolo, who is regarded as the best ever not to have played Test cricket, received his sacking letter alongside Suji late last week in what CK termed as ‘failure to get a role for them in the association. The two have been members of CK coaching staff for more than two years.
The decision to end their services came five months after they stepped down as coaches of the national team following a players’ revolt against them in October last year.
The players had accused the two of high-handedness. The revolt had threatened to scuttle the team’s World Cricket League fixtures against Namibia but the two opted to step down in what they said was "the best interest of the game”.
It was this move that prompted CK to set up a five-man independent committee headed by former national rugby player Edward Rombo, to look into issues surrounding the stand-off between the players and technical bench.
The committee handed over their report in November but CK is yet to make it public.
It is likely that the dismissal of the two coaches will exert pressure on coaching staff at CK. Tikolo had been assisting Lameck Onyango with the women’s team while Suji had been working with the Elite squad.
CK general manager Josphat Murithi said on Thursday that the Rombo committee report had ruled that players and the technical bench were not compatible and there was need to dissolve the team.
“There were serious issues The committee felt the two could not work together,” added Murithi.
The CK boss said Tikolo and Suji were serving their notices as per their contracts, and that appointments would be made in due course.
But sources said Murithi may have played a role in the axing of the two from their former positions. It’s alleged that the relationship between the two coaches and the general manager had not been rosy.
"With Onyango appointed assistant coach to the men’s team, Tikolo was fully in charge of the women’s team His exit will no doubt deal a major blow to preparations for World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe later this month.
A former national team player who sought anonymity said: “CK always shoots iself in the foot with some decisions. How can they sack coaches at this time? At times, I wonder if they ever think about the repercussions."
"They make some very weird decisions and they don’t want to be questioned. Even if you don’t want someone, how can you dismiss him just days to a World Cup qualifier.
“They did the same by sacking Joseph Angara last year. We have never recovered as all the programmes that he was running were swept under the carpet."