Cricket Kenya press release re: Aga Selection
Cricket Kenya would wish to correct the erroneous statement made in the Saturday 12th July 2008 edition of the Daily Nation where it is asserted that the Cricket Kenya selection committee did not follow its own selection procedures when picking Ragheb Aga in the national squad for its European tour.
This assertion is wholly inaccurate and misinformed. It reflects a misconceived notion that the Kenya national cricket team can only be picked from amongst those players who participate in its elite domestic leagues. This condition is meant for all players who ordinarily reside in the country during the season. There are several Kenyan players who play overseas and do not participate in local leagues and still feature in the national team - because they play in a country and for a team that participates in the top flight of cricket. The most recent examples of such players are the the Obuya brothers who played in Australia.
It should also be noted that Cricket Kenya do insist on any player wishing to be considered for selection, coming back to prepare with other members of the team at his own cost for the last two weeks prior to selection. This enables the Coach and the Technical staffs assess the player's condition in anticipation for the player's selection. This rule is stringent on players residing overseas and playing cricket in lower level leagues and/or staying on following the end of the season.
Ragheb Aga is a contracted county player playing for Sussex in England. His record and performance speaks for itself - particularly so in the English press where he is reported as being in impressive form for his county. He cannot participate in the Kenya domestic league because by doing so he would lose his county contract. After much persuasion, Sussex has agreed to release Ragheb so that he can play for Kenya in important matches without this prejudicing his contract. Cricket Kenya welcomes and is grateful for this gesture on the part of Sussex who have contributed much to Ragheb's improvement as a player.
Ragheb Aga is fully entitled and eligible to play for Kenya. He has captained the Kenya under 19 team and has played in the national team in the past. The fact that he plays top flight competitive cricket overseas cannot be anything but an advantage for Kenya in putting out its strongest possible team against its opponents.
Another comment in the same article about Cricket Kenya not considering Tanmay Mishra for selection is another blatant case of ignorance on the part of the journalist. Let him be reminded that Tanmay still resides in the country and Cricket Kenya has continuously tried to get the player to avail himself in vain due to what the said player says is personal commitments. It only needed the writer to contact the player for his reasons of not being available than just heap blame on Cricket Kenya and bring the issue to boiling point by comparing the case of Mishra with that of Ragheb.
In conclusion, let me point out that Cricket Kenya has continuously worked towards having an all inclusive team to bring glory to this country and we welcome informed criticism as much as we welcome praises for some good work.
Cricket Kenya office has adopted an open door policy in giving out information and we assure the press that we are available to give information as and when required.
Chief Executive Officer.