• Bermuda, Hong Kong, Jersey and Uganda are the others in the event, the first of three Challenge League B competitions taking place over the next two years.
• Kenya will be seeking to put on a good show after performing dismally in last month’s ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers in UAE.
Kenya begin their campaign to qualify for their first ICC Cricket World Cup bow since 2011 when they take on Italy in the inaugural ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Challenge League B match in Oman today.
Kenya and Italy are among six teams, from the 32 in Oman, competing for a spot in Cricket World Cup in India in 2023.
Bermuda, Hong Kong, Jersey and Uganda are the others in the event, the first of three Challenge League B competitions taking place over the next two years.
Kenya will be seeking to put on a good show after performing dismally in last month’s ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers in UAE.
Kenya failed to get past the group stages in an event that saw six teams bag a ticket to the next year’s World Cup in Australia. With result’s Kenya were forced to make changes to both the playing and technical unit with coach Maurice Odumbe shown the door, a new captain named and five new players drafted into the team.
Odumbe was replaced by little-known Wynnand De Ridder from South Africa. Skipper Shem Obado was replaced by Irfan Karim
Opener Alex Obanda, seamers Elijah Otieno and Nelson Odhiambo, Jasraj Kundi and Pushpak Kerai were dropped and replaced by veteran Lameck Onyango, Jadavji ‘Malindi’ Bhimji, Naman Patel and Nehemiah Odhiambo.
Onyango’s inclusion in the team, at 46, elicited different reactions among cricket fans.
In preparation for the tournament, Kenya played three build-up matches against UAE, losing all. Former national team bowler Alfred Boi Njuguna, said: “We know on what circumstances the team was selected. If it’s training, they had one or two training session and that was not enough to gauge the team. So the matches against UAE have acted as training for the team. I hope they have picked some positives from them ahead of the tournament.”
Kenya’s next match will be against Uganda, coached by former national team skipper Steve Tikolo. “With the new changes in place, we stand to play more games, a total of 15, during the qualifying process. I believe this is a good move that will see the level and quality of cricket improve across the board. The more teams play competitive cricket, the more they will improve.”