Board politics – it’s just not cricket
So the long awaited Cricket Kenya (CK) elections scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 27, failed to go ahead as ex CEO Tom Tikolo slapped an injunction on the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association, which is the largest cricketing body in the country.
The elections were meant to see current CK chairman Sam Inamdar step down from the top post, to be replaced by Shamji Patel, who has served as his deputy for all these years. Now however, especially since the case is in a Kenyan court, there is no end in sight. The case was supposed to be heard on Thursday, May 31, however this also failed to go ahead as all judges were in a meeting with the Kenyan Chief Justice. This means that a new date will need to be set.
Tom Tikolo was a great Kenyan player in his heyday and was appointed as a national selector after the Sharad Ghai regime was removed in 2005. He was then promoted to CEO of CK until 2010, when he resigned from his post due to financial irregularities. Apparently it was claimed that $10 000 received at a tournament in the West Indies was unaccounted for. Though he denied the allegations, and has since paid back all the cash, he seems to still be bitter over the whole process. In a statement after resigning, this is what he had to say: "I urge you not to cry as I am not dead. But for those faceless enemies that are out to tarnish my reputation, do not rejoice as there is no grave that you will dance around on and collect soil for your traditional rituals".
It seems that Tikolo is not alone in trying to stop Cricket Kenya continuing in his role, as he was accompanied by ex-Kenya Cricket Association (KCA) Chairman Jimmy Rayani at a press conference. Why Rayani is trying to get involved is beyond me. He was at the helm when all the problems with Kenyan Cricket started after the 2003 World Cup, which saw the ICC and various sponsors pull out from the game. As a fan of Kenyan cricket, I'm really worried that the old KCA crew are trying to get back into the game. Yes they did do wonders in the beginning of their administration, getting the likes of Australia, India, Pakistan and South Africa to play against the Kenyan side; however they also caused the downfall of the game, with the repercussions of their actions still being felt today.
To be honest, all that we as Kenyan cricket fans want is a board and people who have the game’s best interest at heart. Are Shamji Patel and his team the right people to do the job? That is still to be determined. However, we have seen what was done under the previous regime and I can only hope they aren't given another chance to repeat their shortcomings.
Away from the politics at board level, I'm happy to see that 20 players have agreed new contracts with Cricket Kenya without the mess that occurred last year being repeated. Hopefully this is a sign that both board and players are now on the same page, and can work together as they try to improve their performances on the field.
Contracts list: Ragheb Aga, Duncan Allan, James Ngoche, Shem Ngoche, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Nelson Odhiambo, Irfan Karim, Ibrahim Akello, Alfred Luseno, Peter Kituku, Dominic Wesonga, Morris Ouma, Lucas Oluoch, Elijah Otieno, Rakep Patel, Hiren Varaiya, Seren Waters, Emmanuel Bundi.