25 October 2013

Kenya: Tikolo and Odoyo Back

Cricket Kenya have recalled former national team captains Steve Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo to the squad for next month's World Twenty20 qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates.

Tikolo and Odoyo retired from international cricket after the 2013 Cricket World Cup in India.

While Tikolo announced his retirement after Kenya's poor performance, Odoyo was forced out of the team by the then cricket administration that failed to offer him a contract despite being the most experienced player after Tikolo's retirement.

In their absence the Kenya team has continued to perform poorly event after event. With the World T20 qualifiers and 2015 World Cup on the way, Cricket Kenya have opted to bring in the two to add much needed experience. Tikolo and Odoyo have been active on the local scene.

Tikolo has been impressive with Stray Lions while Odoyo has been outstanding for Sir Ali.

The two all rounders started training with the Kenya squad two weeks ago following the defeat by Afghanistan in Sharjah in the ICC World Cricket League Championships that saw Kenya finish third from bottom.

The squad however, is without middle order batsman Tanmay Mishra. Mishra was also not part of the team to Sharjah after falling out with coaches during training at Ruaraka two days before the team's departure.

Another regular member who is not part of the squad for the qualifiers is Alex Obanda. The opening batsman dislocated his thumb in Sharjah.

Gurdeep Singh who replaced Mishra has also been left out as has Dominic Wesonga.

The UAE tournament will see the 16 sides split into two groups of eight to ensure a total of 72 matches are played over 15 days. The top teams at the conclusion of the group stages automatically qualify for Bangladesh 2014.

The second and third teams in each of the two groups will play cross-over matches with the two winners also progressing to the ICC World Twenty20 2014.

The sides finished fourth and fifth in each of the two groups will also play cross-over matches, with the winners of these two matches then playing the losers of the second and third cross-over fixtures. The victors here will then also proceed to Bangladesh.

Ireland will be defending the title they won in 2012, when, alongside Afghanistan, they qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Kenya squad: Collins Obuya (captain), Ragheb Aga, Duncan Allan, Dhiren Gondaria, Irfan Karim, Shem Ngoche, Thomas Odoyo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Nelson Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Morris Ouma, Rakep Patel, Steve Tikolo and Hiren Varaiya.

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