Kenya Team News ICC Cricket World Cup 2007


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Kenya Cricket Team News - ICC Cricket World Cup 2007

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Kenya has turned the corner, says Harper

Kenyan coach Roger Harper believes the African nation has come out of one of the worst phases in its cricketing history and is confident that the team can replicate its 2003 performance at the coming World Cup in the Caribbean.
Kenya created a sensation when they reached the semifinals for the first time at the last World Cup in South Africa. But it has been all downhill for them since then. In 2004, former captain Maurice Odumbe, who had been the face of Kenyan cricket for many years, was banned for five years for his alleged nexus with Indian bookmakers. Then, a row over player wages and alleged financial irregularities by the sport's administrative body in the country resulted in the Kenyans losing their ODI status.
Harper, however, says that the team has finally turned the corner with their triumph in the World Cricket League, an ICC tournament for associate countries. "The team is delighted to have won the WCL. The victory was a reward for hard work, effective teamwork and execution of team plans," Harper, a former West Indies Test player and three-time World Cupper, told PTI. The off-spinner of yesteryears said that financial incentives that come from playing in ICC events will also help the sport in Kenya. "The team is very happy to have qualified for the Twenty20 World Cup and that funds will come in to Kenya for the further development of the game," he said.
Harper, who played 25 Tests and 105 ODIs, took over as Kenya's coach in 2006, having earlier worked with his home team from 2000 to 2003. The 43-year old from Guyana attributed Kenya's turnaround to "greater work ethic, improved team spirit, the importance of teamwork and having the players think a bit more about the game and their roles." "They were also introduced to mental skills training," he added.
Harper, who took 46 Test wickets and 100 ODI scalps in a 13-year career, would not predict the team's fortunes in the quadrennial event from March 13 to April 28, though. "The team is fully focused on doing its best at the World Cup. Our aim is to play our best cricket at the World Cup and let the results take care of themselves," said Harper who played in the 1987, 92 and 96 World Cups. He said there was no special inputs he had, as a native of the Caribbean, to give the Kenyans and felt the Africans would do well in the West Indies anyway. "I have no real secrets to share with the Kenyans. Some of them have been there before so they know what to expect. The pitches are usually slow and should be good for the one-day cricket," he said. Harper said the shock defeat against Kenya in the 1996 World Cup never rankled him, but did not stop him from working with them. "I had the honour of playing in three World Cups, they were all great spectacles. What I remember most of 1996 is the way we were able to rebound after the loss to Kenya and get to the semifinals."

Kenya names 2007 World Cup squad

Kenya named the 15-man squad for the cricket World Cup in the West Indies retaining the same side that won the world cricket division one title they hosted earlier this month.
Long-serving skipper Steve Tikolo retains his place with all-rounder Thomas Odoyo as his deputy, but the selection left out three other experienced players, two of whom failed to beat the selection deadline and a third down with injury. Wicketkeeper-batsman Kennedy Otieno and left-hander Hitesh Modi failed to make the deadline while opening bowler Martin Suji is still nursing a knee injury. Kenya team :Steve Tikolo (Captain), Thomas Odoyo (Vice-Captain), Ravindu Shah, Tanmay Mishra, Collins Obuya, Peter Ongondo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Morris Ouma, Malhar Patel, Hiren Varaiya, David Obuya, Rajesh Bhudia, Jimmy Kamande, Tony Suji, Lameck Onyango.

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ICC Cricket World Cup 2007

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All World Cup Cricket matches in West Indies start at 09:30 local time (14:30GMT). The first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 will be played on March 13, 2007 at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, between the host West Indies and Pakistan.

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Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.