HOPE AT LAST

Ngoche happy with foundations for cricket rebirth in Kenya

The former right-handed batsman said the Cricket Normalisation Committee has done well in laying the foundations for reclaiming the sport's lost glory

In Summary

•Ngoche will be coaching the national women's cricket team at the Commonwealth qualifiers in Malaysia 

•He thanked the Normalisation Committee for the work done in resuscitating cricket in Kenya 

•Kenya will be battling against Bangladesh, Malaysia, Scotland and Sri Lanka for the ticket to Birmingham 

National women's cricket team captain Margaret Banja during a past action
National women's cricket team captain Margaret Banja during a past action
Image: /FILE

National women's cricket team coach Lamech Ngoche has praised the Cricket Normalisation Committee for setting in place the foundations for resuscitating the sport, which has been plagued with wrangles for many years. 

The former national team player said the Justice (Rtd) Joyce Aluoch-led committee did well to source the views of all stakeholders to come up with an accommodative constitution for Cricket Kenya.

"Though we have suffered for long, it is encouraging to see what the committee has done. They went around meeting all stakeholders before coming up with the constitution. In the next one month or so, they will be calling for the election of a new body and these are signs of a brighter future," Ngoche said. 

The former right-handed batsman bemoaned the push-and-pull that has characterised cricket in Kenya and said this has affected many careers. 

"It was very sad to see all this going on and the fact that some of those involved in these wrangles were former players who understand what cricket means to us. It was very sad for the game especially for the young ones who may have wanted to reach the same level as we did," he said. 

The normalization committee was established in March last year by Sports Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohamed, to restore sanity in a sport that had been on its knees. 

The committee is expected to issue a notice for the election of new office bearers before handing over the reigns to the new officials 14 days after the polls. 

Echoing the sentiments of the former Swamibapa man, National Olympic Committee Kenya (NOCK) secretary general, Francis Mutuku, commended the committee for building the foundations for the growth of the sport. 

"They have done a commendable job and for the first time in a while, we can see there are clear programs for cricket. We are very grateful they are working overnight to put in place a national league to enable us to compete," Mutuku said. 

He added: "The form of the league being developed is not only to enable participation in the Commonwealth Games but also in other international assignments. We want our coaches and players continuously engaged so they are able to compete when it comes to international events." 

The national team departed for Malaysia on Monday ahead of the qualifiers for the Commonwealth Games to be held in July in Birmingham, England. 

The 15-woman team will battle against Bangladesh, Scotland, Sri Lanka as well as the hosts. 

They kick off their campaign against Bangladesh on January 18. 

Ngoche is optimistic the girls will do well and be among the nations to compete at the Commonwealth Games, where cricket will be returning for the first time in 25 years.  "I expect them to do well and are looking forward to the competition," he said.