ICC Media Release
There can be few players who represent cricket in one particular country more than Steve Tikolo does for the game in Kenya. In his heyday, Tikolo enjoyed the tag of the best international batsman outside the Test world and despite his 37 years slowing him down a little in field, Tikolo's wicket is still the one Kenya's opponents prize most and his wily off-spinners continue to pose problems for all but the most vigilant and adept of batsmen.
Since Kenya reached the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, it has not really kicked on in the way many commentators had predicted. But along with Ireland and Scotland, Kenya would still be considered odds-on to claim one of the four qualification spots for the big event in 2011.
'This event means a lot to us,' said Tikolo. 'This is a World Cup Qualifier so we need to do very well to be among the four teams to qualify so the guys are looking forward to it! Qualifying for the World Cup still means so much to me and it is vital for Kenyan cricket that we get there,' he said.
Notwithstanding the apparent slowing in Kenya's progress, it is still the ICC World Cricket League Division 1 champion and although it failed to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 2009 having done so successfully for the 2007 event, there are signs that the future is not as bleak as some people have suggested.
Having shown early promise, young players such as Seren Waters, Rakep Patel and Alex Obanda could form the nucleus of this Kenya side for the next decade along with the likes of Maurice Ouma and it is at tournaments like this that we will see if the next generation can step up and perhaps lay a claim to being the next Tikolo, Thomas Odoyo or Collins Obuya.
'We certainly have some good players coming through so that is encouraging. We have a good mix between the young guys and those of us who have been around a while. We have prepared well. We have been to South Africa for a number of games so I would say we are confident.
'But it's important for us to remember that being the strongest or one of the strongest teams in the competition doesn't count for anything if you don't perform on the particular day. I wouldn't say we'll go there thinking we are the top side and that we're going to walk all over the other teams but I can confidently say we have prepared well,' said Tikolo.
Kenya (squad): Steve Tikolo (captain), Peter Ongondo, Hiren Varaiya, Kennedy Obuya, Collins Obuya, Thomas Odoyo, Morris Ouma, Nehemiah Odhiambo , Alex Obanda, Seren Waters, James Kamande, Rakep Patel, Rajesh Bhudiya, Lameck Ngoche, Elijah Asoyo.