How legendary Steve Tikolo pioneered Cricket in Kenya
Having acquired a legendary status in Kenyan sports, Steve Tikolo will indeed be engraved in the Hallmark of one of the best Cricket players ever.
More to his outstanding achievements was how the incredible batsman shaped and transformed cricket in Kenya.
Born in June 25 1971, 51 year old Steve Tikolo hailed from a famous cricketing family. His older brother Tom Tikolo is actually a former national captain and another brother, David Tikolo played at the 1996 Cricket World Cup.
Steve's long awaited national call up came immediately at home on the international stage, when Kenya made their World Cup debut in 1996.
Tikolo, at the iconic World Cup, top-scored with a vital 29 in Kenya’s sensational low-scoring victory over West Indies at Pune, then later on contributed 96 against Sri Lanka at Kandy, establishing himself as the country's leading batsman.
His prowess was further shown when he made a destructive 147 against Bangladesh in the 1997 ICC Trophy final, taking Kenya to a second successive World Cup, and new ODI status.
Having a personal disappointing start to the World Cup in 2003, Tikolo still came good with the bat and his contributions with the ball plus astute captaincy helped Kenya to reach the semi-finals. This performance, aided by Tikolo's burgeoning reputation, led to calls for Kenya to be granted Test status.
Unfortunately with the rapid disintegration of the game inside the country as the Kenya Cricket Association (KCA) fell out with the stakeholders, Tikolo decided to call it quits after a wretched 2004 Champions Trophy bundled with board wrangles.
Under new management, Tikolo returned as captain, showing that his appetite and ability was undiminished. He failed to shine on a bigger stage in the Afro-Asia Cup, although his opportunities were cruelly limited, but continued to weigh in with bat and ball as Kenya returned to the international arena in 2006.
A middle-order batsman shortlisted for the inaugural ICC Associate ODI Player of the Year in 2007, Tikolo is truly an Iconic epitome for the Kenyan team.
ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Challenge League
The men's Kenyan cricket team is currently in Uganda battling it out against Hong Kong in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Challenge League B group.
So far, Kenya won two games against Bermuda and Italy but unfortunately came up short against Jersey and hot rivals Uganda. Kenya now faces Hong Kong having settled at 4th place with seven points.
With a World Cup opportunity available for the team that is on top of the table at the end of the third round, Kenya being a top dog having featured in 3 World Cups will certainly be looking for reprieve.