Odumbe calls for professionalization of Kenya's cricket

CRICKET Odumbe calls for professionalization of Kenya's cricket

Festus Chuma 13:06 - 17.02.2023

He made his debut for Kenya in 1998 and rose to become a world-class player.

Former Kenya men's cricket national team captain Maurice Odumbe has called for the professionalization of local cricket.

Odumbe, who captained the team from 1999 to 2003, believes that good governance will make the sport return to its glory days.

"We need to have a professionalized cricket league, and they make sure that players are contracted, get sponsorship, and make the sport competitive.

At the moment, we do not have Kenya A, U-25, or U-19, and those are structures that were there before, and I believe new Cricket Kenya chairman Manoj (Patel) will come up with them.

We are missing out on big events like World Cup; that is where Kenya needs to be. Playing against countries like Uganda or Botswana will not do us any good,"said the 53-year-old.

The former all-rounder Odumbe retired from professional cricket in 2009 and became Kenya's battling coach in 2017.

Odumbe played for Kenya in three successive World Cup appearances but was briefly suspended from cricket in 2004 after allegedly receiving money from bookmakers.

Image: Cricket Kenya

He is remembered for his performance at the 2003 World Cup, averaging 42 with the bat and taking nine wickets as Kenya reached the semi-finals.

The sport has however continued to be on a downward spiral since 2014 when the country lost its international ODI status.