Ready for Africa showpiece
Home ground advantage could well count for something when Kenya hosts the International Cricket Council (ICC) Continent Cup T20-Africa Men’s Quadrangular Tournament at the Nairobi Gymkhana from June 9-21.
After a five month lull, Kenya gets back on groove in the short version of the game with coach David Obuya lining up a 13-man squad for duty against Botswana, Uganda and Rwanda. Tanzania and Nigeria pulled out of the maiden edition.
Speaking on the sidelines of team preparation, Obuya underscored the importance of utilizing the knowledge of the home turf.
“Being at home is important simply because of the aspect of familiarity. We want to ensure that we push ourselves with the target of winning obviously. We will face good opposition and so we have to be ready. I know that we have been out for a while but players have been busy behind the scenes to be match fit I guess we will take it a match at a time and plan on the go. It is a good move for Cricket Kenya to bring this tournament home and definitely it will be a good boost ahead of the ICC Qualifiers scheduled for November in Namibia,” he told People Sport.
Vice-Captain Lucas Oluoch of Nairobi Gymkhana Club as also happy with the return of a major tournament to Nairobi after a long break.
“Ever since the Nepal tour last year in Kenya,this is the first major event coming through and so for us players it is welcome.There could be rustiness but we have been working well ahead of the tournament to regain sharpness. Areas around fielding and batting have been core to our preparations and with the coming of Coach Lameck Onyango, it is helpful indeed. We are looking ahead to a great tournament regardless and we believe the competition will be a good dress rehearsal for bigger tournaments.”
Meanwhile CK has contracted the services of Dr Kapil Dev Kesari (Yoga Scientist) seconded from the Indian High Commission in Kenya.
The Meditation Coach who has been practicing for the past 17 years is working on player breathing and meditation to help with their optimum output.
“ For every athlete, performance is key and so I am bringing my expertise to help the players with key aspects like the mind and also the emotions. We look at pressure points and how to ease the distractions in performance.
We incorporated this age old concept in sport to optimize the athletes capacity to improve and over the years we have done research to measure impact,” he stated.