All systems go for EAPL
The four teams that will represent Kenya in the upcoming East Africa Premier League (EAPL) competition have finally been named. Cricket Kenya (CK) have received a boost with big corporates coming on board for this year’s event.
I&M bank, Rising Star Commodities, Sameer Group and Express Group have all paid to take over one franchise each.
The other bit of good news for cricket fans in the country is that Pakistan internationals Mohammad Sami, Imran Nazir, Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal have also been drafted in for the event.
According to the organisers, the selection for the teams was made as follows.
The 20 or so contracted Kenyan internationals were split between each side, followed by under-19 players, then those from the emerging squad and finally the top performers in the local leagues.
Let’s take a look at the four Kenyan sides:
I&M BANK NYATIS
Kenya international and former Deccan Chargers player Tanmay Mishra has been given the job of leading the Nyatis in the EAPL. Mishra is on top form at the moment and outshone all the other batsmen in the just concluded tour of Scotland. He will be assisted by Kenya under-19 captain Emmanuel Bundi. The Nyatis will also have the experience of current Kenyan 1st team players Alex Obanda, James Ngoche, Elijah Otieno as well as former captain Jimmy Kamande. The coaches for the Nyatis are former Kenya international Lameck Onyango as well as the current assistant coach of the Kenya national side, Thomas Odoyo.
Team list: Tanmay Mishra (captain), Emmanuel Bundi (vice-captain), Alex Obanda, Karan Kaul, William Rudd, Abdul Najmi, Josephat Ababu, Krutarth Rao, Nicholas Oluoch, Jimmy Kamande, Waqas Aslam, Raj Savala, James Ngoche, Ibrahim Akello, Hamza Malik and Elijah Otieno
RISING STAR CHUIS
Kenya captain Collins Obuya will lead the Rising Stars with wicketkeeper batsman Irfan Karim acting as his deputy. The Chuis will also be boosted by star Pakistan internationals Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq. The coach for the side is Mombasa-based cricket legend Sibtain Kassamali, who started the Legends Cricket Academy at the coast, alongside Steve Tikolo, Jimmy Kamande and Thomas Odoyo, while Joseph Angara will be the assistant coach. Other notable names in the Rising Stars team are spinner Hiren Varaiya and fast bowler Alfred Luseno.
Team list: Collins Obuya (captain), Irfan Karim (vice-captain), Subham Patel, Joseph Owino, Henry Rudd, Rajesh Khetiya, Harrison Ambani, Vishal Shikotra, David Maina, Martin Okoth, Boniface Anjere, Kirtan Patel, Hiren Varaiya, Martin Mworia, Tarandeep Singh, Alfred Luseno
Ex-Kenya captain Maurice Ouma will lead the Simbas in the EAPL, with Shem Ngoche given the vice-captaincy role. The side will be coached by former Uganda coach Martin Suji, with Rajab Ali as his deputy. The Simbas will be hoping the likes of Dhiren Ghondaria and Nadeem Ahmed can perform with the bat, while Nelson Odhiambo and Ngoche will be expected to take wickets.
Team list: Maurice Ouma (captain), Shem Ngoche (vice-captain), Dhiren Gondaria, Nadeem Ahmed, Narendra Kerai, Bhargab Goswami, Kennedy Owino, Siddhant Taneja, Harsh Patel, Steve Biko, Bhavya Thakar, Taaha Sulemanjee, Gurmanjot Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Eugene Ochieng, Nelson Mandela Odhiambo
Kenya's vice-captain Rakep Patel has been handed the captain's armband of the Express Ndovus side. His vice-captain will be Gurdeep Singh, while Kenyan legend Steve Tikolo will be the head coach. Former Kenyan international Peter Ongondo has been named as Tikolo's assistant. If having the likes of Tikolo as your coach wasn't enough, the Ndovus will be boosted by the inclusion of Pakistan players Imran Nazir and Mohammad Sami.
Team list: Rakep Patel (captain), Gurdeep Singh (vice-captain), Peter Kituku, Dominic Wesonga, Abraham Vadada, Nikul Patel, Kavi Dosaja, Gautam Bhudia, Ikreet Kenth, Maninder Singh, Paresh Gami, Abdul Rehman, Paramveer Singh, Peter Koech, Mitesh Sanghani, Lucas Oluoch
Apart from the four Kenyan teams, there will be two sides from Uganda (Warriors and Knights), as well as one team from Tanzania (Twigas) participating in the competition. Pool A will see the I&M Nyatis, The Rising Star Chuis and the Uganda Warriors battle it out for a place in the semifinals, while Pool B will see The Uganda Knights, The Tanzania Twigas, The Express Ndovus and The Sameer Simbas play for the remaining two positions.
Nyatis v Warriors at Simba Union
Twigas v Simbas at Nairobi Club
Ndovu v Knights at Simba Union
Chuis v Warriors at Nairobi Club
Simbas v Knights at Simba Union
Ndovus v Twigas at Nairobi Club
Knights v Twigas at Simba Union
Simba v Ndovus at Nairobi Club
Nyatis v Chuis at Simba Union
Semifinal 1 at Simba Union
Semifinal 2 at Simba Union
3rd place playoff at Simba Union
Final at Simba Union