Sports CS Amina Mohamed congratulates New Cricket Kenya boss as he takes up challenge of reviving sport on its knees
Newly elected Cricket Kenya chairman Manoj Narshi Patel is advocating for the strengthening of clubs and involving them to make the league better as he aims to return the country to its glory days.
Patel, a former Kenya Under-19 opening batsman, is not shying away from the fact that the current state of cricket in Kenya is at its lowest but he is quick to add that the successful elections signifies a new dawn.
“Together we can work towards making the sport great again. We all agree we are in a terrible situation; the structures have been wrong for a while, now we have a collective role to play and get back to playing,” said Patel who was overwhelmingly elected on Saturday as the new boss.
Patel believes holding the elections is one step in the right direction that will play a key role in ending the wrangles that have affected the association and the sport for long.
“It was particularly nice to see some of the guys who I was up against congratulating me after my victory. That means we are willing to put the sport ahead of everything else,” he added.
“We are a family and we all have to take part in building cricket. I will make sure even the people who did not participate like Nairobi, Nakuru and Mombasa will be part and parcel of my administration’s agenda because they are very important and cannot be left behind. Indeed, I can confirm that I have friends from the three associations that called to congratulate me which means there is no fight,” said Patel
Patel said he will not run the association from the office but rather make the clubs as strong as possible.
“As much as we want to spread the game to the counties, we have to involve clubs that started it all. We have started equipping clubs in different regions because this is part of our wide plan to make the sport great again. Afterwards, the other crucial part will be to see the national teams in all categories are actively involved in international matches,” he shared.
On Saturday, Patel, whitewashed Stray Lions Cricket Club chairman Chidambaran Subramanian and veteran cricketer Tariq Iqbal in the elections held at Moi International Sports Centre (MISC) Kasarani in Nairobi.
Patel garnered 51 votes while Subramanian and Iqbal got zero votes.
He will be assisted by Maina Kiruma Kamau (vice chairman), Kalpesh Solanki (treasurer), Perlyne Omamo (director, women’s cricket) and former Kenya international Kennedy Otieno Obuya (county associations representative).
Maina managed 50 votes while legendary all-rounder Thomas Odoyo, who was his only competitor in the vice chairman’s post, received one vote.
Solanki was elected treasurer with 51 votes against Peter D’Costa’s zero. Omamo and Obuya were unopposed in the elections.
Seventy-one delegates were cleared by the IEP to take part in the elections.
Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch who is the chairperson of the CK Normalisation Committee said: “We will hand over the office to the newly elected individuals very soon.”
International Cricket Council (ICC) representative Tavengwa Mukuhlani said the world cricket body is glad to usher in a new era in Kenyan cricket.
Meanwhile, amidst noises and questions following Saturday Cricket Kenya “polls”, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has congratulated the new office bearers dubbing the occasion as historic for the game.
The Sports Disputes Tribunal through a certificate of urgency allowed the elections to go on Friday after a section of contestants rushed to court to stop it over what they termed improper plans of holding what would be shambolic polls.
However, as fate would have it, the elections under the close supervision of the Office of Sports Registrar and Kenya National Sports Council took place with 51 of 71 registered delegates taking part in an exercise carried out at the Kasarani Stadium Indoor Arena.
CS Amina in her remarks said her office was happy with the whole exercise and committed to helping the sport get back to its footing while extending an olive branch to the absconders.
“I congratulate all the candidates who vied for different positions. You are all winners. Cricket Kenya has won. I urge a few of the stakeholders who desired more in the process but it was impossible at this time,to support the development of cricket in the spirit of continuous improvement,” read part of her statement sent to newsrooms.