Cricket legend Maurice Odumbe handed major role by Sports Ministry

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CRICKET Cricket legend Maurice Odumbe handed major role by Sports Ministry

Joel Omotto 18:36 - 16.12.2023

The Mistry of Sports has come to the aid of struggling Kenyan cricket legend Maurice Odumbe, handing him a major role geared towards reviving the ailing sport

The Ministry of Sports has come to the aid of Kenyan cricket legend Maurice Odumbe, having promised to incorporate him into the TalantaHela programme.

Odumbe, who has endured personal challenges for years and previously served as Kenya's cricket national team coach, will now use his vast knowledge and experience to help identify and nurture the country’s budding cricket talent as part of the efforts to revive the once vibrant but now ailing sport.

“I am very keen to see how you can be part of that journey. We are doing it in football, we have tapped our legends like Musa Otieno, Robert Matano, Allan Wanga, and Doreen Nabwire for women’s football,” said Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba when he paid a visit to Odumbe.

“We are doing well in athletics, people like Paul Tergat at the leadership of the National Olympics Committee, Tegla Loroupe at the Kenya Academy of Sports, people like Catherine Ndereba, and Wilfred Bungei have taken the lead to mentor the upcoming generation.

“There is no reason why we should not do it in cricket. When it comes to cricket, is there any bigger name than Maurice Odumbe?”

Odumbe will play an advisory role where he will act as the link between Cricket Kenya and the Kenya Academy of Sports, helping unearth and incorporate talented cricketers into the national team setup.

“We need you to play a role that is of an advisory nature in our talent development programme. We should be able to attach you to the Kenya Academy of Sports to help with cricket revival,” added Namwamba.

“You will help in the development of cricket talent then you can play that role of advising the Ministry and the Kenya Academy of Sports and being a liaison for us with the cricket federation.

“You can also help us to establish a national structure. When we were playing cricket, it seemed to be so vibrant and there were even school kids playing cricket.”

Odumbe was part of Kenya’s famed Class of 2003 which made history by reaching the Cricket World Cup semi-final when the sport was at its peak in the country.

He later suffered a setback when he was handed a five-year ban over match-fixing and although he has maintained his innocence, the decision ended his playing career and saw him lose most of what he had earned from the sport.

Odumbe’s fall from grace coincided with Kenya cricket’s decline, with the country hitting an all-time low, largely down to wrangling and mismanagement of the sport.

The cricket legend feels Kenya can still reclaim its place at the top but that will start with identifying talented children away from the affluent areas of in the country and giving them opportunities to train under a conducive environment.

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