•Swamibapa had a lion’s share in the team with opener Naman Patel getting his first call up and spinner Jadavji ‘Malindi’ Bhimji and seamer Nehemiah Odhiambo being recalled.
•With the inclusion of the four Swamibapa players, and the retention of Emmanuel Bundi, Irfan Karim and Rushab Patel, the club has a total of seven players in the squad.
The 46-year-old Lameck Onyango is the surprise inclusion in the 15-man Kenya team for the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B set for Oman next month.
Onyango, who has been the pillar of Swamibapa’s bowling, replaces his former team-mate Elijah Otieno who has been shown the door once again. Shem Ngoche has also been stripped off the team captaincy.
Swamibapa had a lion’s share in the team with opener Naman Patel getting his first call up and spinner Jadavji ‘Malindi’ Bhimji and seamer Nehemiah Odhiambo being recalled.
With the inclusion of the four Swamibapa players, and the retention of Emmanuel Bundi, Irfan Karim and Rushab Patel, the club has a total of seven players in the squad.
The inclusion of the four players comes at the expense of Otieno, Nelson Odhiambo, Alex Obanda, Jasraj Kundi and Pushpak Kerai who didn’t have a good outing in the just-concluded ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier in UAE, where Kenya failed to bag one of the six qualification tickets on offer.
Sources close to the selection committee led by former national team wicketkeeper Tariq Iqbal hinted that they had opted to get players from the local league in order to enhance consistency.
“With the current financial troubles at CK, it was agreed to have players who are doing well in the domestic league to enhance consistency in training and not start from the scratch,” the sources noted.
Onyango and Bhimji have had a good show in the league with 35 wickets between them. Onyango is placed second with 18 wickets in nine matches at an average of 12.72 while Bhimji is third with 17 wickets in eight matches at an average of 12.12. Odhiambo, who is Onyango’s younger brother, has also had a good show in the league with 13 wickets and he is placed eighth. The selection of Naman came as a shocker having been overlooked despite his consistency with the bat for close to two years.
Naman tops the batting chart with 354 runs from eight innings—53 runs more than second placed Rakep Patel who has also retained his place in the team.
But the retention of Rushab Patel in the team is what has once again raised eyebrows. The Swamibapa opener has continued to struggle with the bat since his entry in the team but that has not bothered the selectors. In the qualifiers he only managed to score two runs.