Odumbe: Why Kenyan cricket fell and never recovered from success of 2003
Former Kenya Cricket men’s national team captain Maurice Odumbe has said the game is currently suffering from short-termism.
Kenya’s best performance was at the World Cup in 2003 where they reached the semifinal and even though they made it to the World Cup in 2007 and 2011, these subsequent appearances were underwhelming.
“We never really developed players who would take over from the cream that did well in 2003. We did not prepare for the long term and that is what has brought down our game to date,” Odumbe recently said in an online sports show hosted by Sports Media Personality Carol Radull
“Infighting started at Cricket Kenya following the success in 2003 and things have never been the same again,” he added.
Former Kenyan International Peter Ogongo, who is now based in Nakuru, echoed Odumbe’s sentiments.
“In 2007 and 2011 we had almost seven new players in the team and it was not easy to fill in the shoes of the experienced players. We should have prepared for the future but it never happened,” he said.
Odumbe says the poor performance of the national team has had a ripple effect on the sponsorship of the game in Kenya.
“Back then, when the national team was performing well, we had many sponsors fighting to be associated with the game but when our performance started dwindling they ran away. Most companies and organisations want to be associated with success,” he said.
Odumbe concluded by saying that in this modern era the game should be professionalized and not depend on the government and well-wishers for funds even at club-level.