OUMA CONFIDENT

Swamis seek perfect season despite losing quartet

The team lost national team players Alex Obanda, Emmanuel Bundi and Irfan Karim, who have been part of the team throughout their recent success.

In Summary

• Losing that distinguished group won’t be easy for Swamibapa, but coach/player Maurice Ouma said he’s confident the team will do well, starting with their opener away to Ruaraka this weekend.

• Ouma is among the four top players who have remained at the Jamhuri High School side alongside Lameck Onyango, Rushab Patel and Nehemiah Odhiambo.

Swamibapa player Maurice Ouma during a past match
Swamibapa player Maurice Ouma during a past match
Image: FILE

Swamibapa enter into an unfamiliar territory when they play in their opening match of the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Super League without four of their key players.

The team lost national team players Alex Obanda, Emmanuel Bundi and Irfan Karim, who have been part of the team throughout their recent success.

They also lost opening batsman Naman Patel, who relocated to the USA. Obanda and Bundi have moved to Stray Lions and Kanbis respectively but it is still not clear which side Karim will turn out for in the new season.

Losing that distinguished group won’t be easy for Swamibapa, but coach/player Maurice Ouma said he’s confident the team will do well, starting with their opener away to Ruaraka this weekend.

“It’s obvious we have lost a number of seasoned players but we can say we reloaded from the players we did lose,” Ouma said. “I’m confident that every player in our team can step up at any moment.”

Ouma is among the four top players who have remained at the Jamhuri High School side alongside Lameck Onyango, Rushab Patel and Nehemiah Odhiambo.

At 48, Onyango is the oldest player in the Super League and Ouma doubts if he will be able to play the entire season in the league, thus bringing on board Peter Koech from Nairobi Gymkhana.

“Lameck has given us good service for years and we hope he will be able to do that this season but with his age, we are doubtful that he will play all 16 matches,” Ouma said.

“Koech is a good prospect and he will be given all the support he needs to get to the top of the game. With Lameck still around and Odhiambo also in our squad, we are confident he will get in the groove quickly.”

With Koech the only addition, Swamibapa are set to beef up their team with players from their second team including Arendra Kerai, Pankaj Sangani and Mitesh Sangani.

The hosts skipper Purshotam Vekaria is hoping his players will quickly forget their poor opening display against Stray Lions in time for Swamis visit.

“This will be a different fixture and we will need to forget what happened at Peponi,” he said.

Early leaders Stray Lions will be away to Ngara, who opened their season with a huge win over Nairobi Gymkhana. Cutchi Leva host defending champions Kanbis while Sir Ali will seek to bounce back from their loss to Cutchi Leva when they travel to Nairobi Gymkhana.