Showing posts with label kenya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kenya. Show all posts

Monday, June 3, 2019

The World of Cricket World Cups - Part 5 - 1996 Group Stage

The 1996 Cricket World Cup was also known as ‘Wills World Cup’, after the brand of it’s official sponsor, ITC. The world cup was being hosted in the Indian subcontinent again after 1987 edition, and the craze and frenzy was unmatched. India and Pakistan had been performing well for the past few years, and they were one of the prime favourites to win the cup on home soil. Pakistan were the defending champions, with an excellent combination of youth and experience. India had found a superstar of their own in Sachin Tendulkar, who success had become paramount for India’s win in any match. It was believed that India’s chances to win a match take a major downward dip if he gets out early, which was proven by the fact that most of Indian households used to switch off their tv sets once Sachin got out. Sri Lanka on the other hand, were on a rise with some very good players rising in the ranks, but still, they weren’t considered to be a favourite to go the distance.
The format of this world cup was changed again, with teams divided in two groups. Three new Associate teams were included this time: Kenya, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates. Group A comprised of India and Sri Lanka, along with Australia, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Group B comprised of Pakistan, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates. Top 4 teams from each group would qualify for the quarter finals. India hosted 17 matches at as many venues, Pakistan hosted 16 matches at 6 venues and Sri Lanka 4 matches at 3 venues.
Controversy: There were bomb blasts in Colombo in January 1996, as Sri Lanka was still struggling with militancy by Tamil Tigers. This worried the touring teams Australia and West Indies about their security, and they refused to go to Sri Lanka to play their matches, even after safety assurances by ICC. As a result, Sri Lanka was declared winner by walkover and awarded 2 points each for these matches, which meant that they virtually qualified for the quarter finals even before playing a match.
Group A
India started off their campaign on a good note against Kenya in Cuttack, chasing a target of 200 with 7 wickets and 8 overs to spare. Sachin Tendulkar played a fine knock of 127 not out. They continued their good show against West Indies in Gwalior, in a match which was dubbed as a

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Tete-a-Tete with Thomas Odoyo : Star Allrounder of Kenya's Golden Generation

Image result for thomas odoyoHow was it to be an all rounder?

Being an all rounder was fun. It kept me involved through out. I could not relax at any given moment because I had to contribute in both departments. Having said that it requires a lot of sacrifice and time to work on all aspects of your game.

What was special about the 2003 World Cup campaign? Did the team prepare differently? Did the team expect to make it to the Semi Finals? 

The team did get a lot of practice matches before we went to South Africa. Plus I believe the conditions and the wickets suited us perfectly. Most of us had played together for over ten years so we understood each others strengths and weaknesses.

What is your favourite moment in the 2003 WC?

Favourite moment is being in the semifinals. It in itself is an achievement that can never be wished away and will remain in the history books forever.

What is your favourite moment in your career?

Being named the Associate player of the year in 2007.

Who do you rate as the best Kenyan Cricketer ever?

We were a team. Each and every player had his strength. So I don't rate any player as special

Do you have any regrets with respect to your cricketing career? 

Regret is that I did not fully utilise my batting abilities.

What does the future hold for you? 

I am taking a break from the game right now. But I hope to join and help with administration in the future.

What do you think led to Kenyan cricket's fortunes declining from the high of 2003 WC? What measures are being taken to revive it? Any particular upcoming talent to watch out for? 

Our cricket structures are poor and continue to be so. Unless we sort that out we will struggle. Age group cricket is key and clear pathways up to the national level.