ICC Media Release
ICC World Cricket League Division 1 (WCL Div. 1) finalists Kenya and Scotland could possibly meet again over the next few months in preparation for the inaugural ICC Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa in September.
The two Associate sides earned their places in that tournament by finishing top of the six nations taking part in the WCL Div. 1 in Nairobi that finished last week.
And the US$250,000 participation fee granted to each side by the ICC for this accomplishment will not only go a long way to help with preparations, but also in the development of the game in their respective countries.
Speaking about his side's performance in Nairobi, President of Cricket Scotland Mahendra Patel said: 'It's fantastic, a tremendous achievement for the team to qualify for the ICC Twenty20 World Championships.
'It's also a tremendous boost for cricket in our country as we have raised the profile of cricket a lot in the last few years and this will go a long way in enhancing that process,' he added.
Samir Inamdar, Chairman of Cricket Kenya, was equally thrilled with his side which emerged as WCL Div. 1 champions after beating Scotland by eight wickets in the final last Wednesday.
'It is mission accomplished for us,' said Mr Inamdar.
'It has been a great performance by our boys and I am very proud of them. We have managed to dispel certain doubts expressed by nay-sayers and proved that we are once again one of the top two Associates.'
Plenty of planning will go into the next few months of preparations as both sides have little or no Twenty20 experience and Mr Inamdar hopes they can help each other out with changing that.
'We are hoping that Scotland will agree to pass by Kenya on their way to South Africa so we can play against each other - two Associate countries preparing to take on the best in the world,' he said.
That might become a reality but it will all be decided over the coming weeks.
'We have just qualified so we have not got a game plan in place just yet,' explained Mr Patel.
'We will have a board meeting next week and sit down and discuss it. We need to first find out what conditions the ICC will have for spending that money and then decide the way forward.
'As far as I know our national team has never played a Twenty20 International - only when a rain-affected match has been reduced to 20 overs per side.
'So we have to play more Twenty20 matches in the build-up to the World Championships, either at home or maybe we will need to travel to South Africa early and play some there. We have a lot to learn to make sure we are ready.
'The other element where we will be looking to use the money is in development,' added Mr Patel.
'That is the future. You ignore development at your own peril so it is possible that some of that money will be diverted towards that. We are thinking about building regional academies to be closer to the clubs and so we also need the money to help to build those.
'Also, the players have had to take a lot of time off work - almost three months to prepare for the World Cricket League and for the World Cup and so we have to make up their salaries and support them financially. We have a busy summer ahead,' he said.
That's certainly something the Kenyan officials have in mind as well.
"Our national team has been living on the borderline. Almost all of them are full-time cricketers so they don't have other jobs and they have gone through a very tough time,' said Mr Inamdar.
'But this money will mean that we can dedicate some to prize-money. Also over the next two years, these guys will have a steady income and will not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, how they will pay their kids' school fees or rent. They have been playing with all that pressure on them so this will make a huge difference,' he added.
'Also, something that we will be looking to do is development - spreading the game in a country that doesn't really have a cricket culture despite the fact that this is our most successful team sport globally. I think that development is vitally important.
'Then a tiny fraction of the money will also go into administration costs, getting more office staff and working on support structures because the more professional the structures, the better the guys will be able to play on the field.'
Mr Inamdar added that he hoped the achievements of the Kenyan side, and the fact that overseas investors (Nimbus Sports) have shown confidence in them, will attract further sponsorship deals.
'The overseas markets have shown confidence in Kenya and hopefully after seeing what the team has accomplished the Kenyan corporates will regain confidence and maybe take an interest as well so we can get a national sponsor for the team before the World Cup,' he said.