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Player contract row delays Kenya’s plan for W. Cup qualifiers

By Barry Silah
Friday, September 6th, 2019
Gurdeep Singh Bhagat in action during a past international match. Photo/PD/ALEX NJUE
In summary
  • Nobody, save for coach Maurice Odumbe, has received a contract and the delay has left many fearing Kenya might perform poorly if the issue is not resolved soon.
  • It would be ideal to go to the tournament after a couple of build-up matches so that I gauge the level of players individually before selection.
  • Fourteen teams will participate in the tournament, with Scotland and Netherlands the favourites, having been joint 2015 qualifying champions. 

Kenya’s preparations ahead of the World T20 qualifiers scheduled for Dubai next month is at odds due to delays in player contracts.

The national team has yet to formally assemble for camp amid murmurs of discontent. 

Nobody, save for coach Maurice Odumbe, has received a contract and the delay has left many fearing Kenya might perform poorly if the issue is not resolved soon.

However, Cricket Kenya (CK) has allayed the fears, saying they are in the  process of negotiating with the playing unit.

CK vice-chairman Harpal Sehmi told People Sport that training will resume soon ahead of the global showpiece. 

“We are discussing with the players and hopefully, we can finish the process soon so that we get back to work.

What I believe is important is preparations because our players have been out for four months and they need to get back in competition shape,” said Sehmi, adding that no player is owed.

But while CK puts on a brave face, the delay is getting Odumbe anxious as he feels the time wasted might be costly in the end.“We are obviously short on time so we need to get to camp and start fine tuning.

It would be ideal to go to the tournament after a couple of build-up matches so that I gauge the level of players individually before selection.

I need clear heads so that we can focus on our ultimate goal of getting good results in the World Cup qualifiers,” said Odumbe.

Fourteen teams will participate in the tournament, with Scotland and Netherlands the favourites, having been joint 2015 qualifying champions.