Kenya Cricket - International Succes
Kenya Cricket has aquired an international reputation, after achieving some remarkable successes.
The Kenyan national cricket team upsets many countries, even though Kenyan cricket has faced several crises recently.
Kenyan international cricket took off in 1951 with the matches against Uganda and Tanzania (then Tanganyika). Later, these 3 countries joined to form the East Africa cricket team. Kenya was always considered the strongest among them and in 1981 it broke off and joined the ICC as an associate member in it’s own right.
In 2003, Kenya drew international attention when it reached the semi-final of the Cricket World Cup. Among the ‘associate member nations’ of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Kenya is seen as one of the strongest nations. (The ICC has accepted 10 full member nations, 32 associate member nations and 55 affiliate members, which are third class so to say.)
Logo of Cricket Kenya, the official cricket association
In 1996, Kenya performed very well at the Cricket World Cup and the country was given full ODI status. However, the finest moment of Kenyan cricket up to now was the Cricket World Cup of 2003 in South Africa. By defeating Canada, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, among others, Kenya qualified for the Super Six stage.
This way the country became the first non-test nation to get beyond the first round of the Cricket World Cup. By defeating Zimbabwe it then qualified for the semi-final (which it lost to India).
However, Kenya cricket failed to capitalize on this spectacular success. During a tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, Kenya lost all three matches.
There were also setbacks off the field. Star player Maurice Odumbe was banned for match-fixing in August 2004. Moreover, a number of strikes by top players led to a weakened national team which was eliminated from the inaugural ICC International Cup at the semi-stage final. As a result of these setbacks, by 2005 sponsors had withdrawn their support.
Since then, Kenya cricket is working to come back. The strikes ended and Kenya again entered the semi-finals of the Intercontinental Cup.
Famous Kenyan cricket players are Steve Tikolo, Martin Suji, David Obuya and Thomas Odoyo.
Kenya Cricket, the official ICC-recognized cricket association