Steve Tikolo's Kenya squad has several glaring omissions, but perhaps the most significant is his own. For the first time since almost anyone can remember, Kenya go into a cricket tournament without Stephen Ogonji Tikolo as a registered player.

The 43-year-old veteran of 135 ODIs and 213 List A games will still play a major role in the Kenyan side as head coach, with long-time teammate Thomas Odoyo as his able assistant. The 2015 World Cricket League Division Two is a crucial tournament for Tikolo's side, having lost their ODI status at their last major tournament, the 2014 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand last January.

PatelHowever, they will be without Ragheb Aga, former Sussex seamer, who was a key part of that side in that World Cup qualification campaign. Aga has only 12 ODI caps, but in a squad where captain Rakep Patel has only 54 List A games to his name, his experience with the ball and lower order hitting may be missed. With half of the blitzkrieg partnership that sunk the Dutch in New Zealand missing in Namibia, still more responsibility will fall on the shoulders of young keeper-batsman Irfan Karim.

Another experienced campaigner who will not travel to Namibia is Tanmay Mishra, who has over 1000 ODI runs at 34.18, but has not appeared for Kenya since an ODI against Scotland in Aberdeen in 2013.

Kenya as a team come into the tournament in a dire rut of form. Since a victorious campaign at the Africa Cricket Cup, which featured wins over Uganda and Namibia, the Kenyans have an desperately poor record in 50 over cricket. A four-game tour of Namibia in November started with a promising win over Namibia A, but they lost the return game, as well as both games to full side, despite posting 308 in one 50-over effort.

If the tour of Namibia was a disappointment, the tour of Pakistan was a disaster. Five games at Lahore against Pakistan A resulted in five thrashings, failing to get into triple figures twice and making a highest score of 167. It is difficult to pick out a bright patch.

OdhiamboCaptain Patel missed the Pakistan tour, perhaps a blessing that he was absent for it, but he will have to rediscover some of the batting form he showed in November, when he hit 117 off 63 balls against the full Namibia side. The other man whose runs will be required is Alex Auma Obanda, who also scored a century on that tour, but equally only made it past 10 once in Pakistan.

While the rest of the batting line-up had a difficult time on the last visit to Windhoek there is at least some good news in the bowling department, though it is largely restricted to the performance of Nelson Odhiambo. The mohawk-sporting paceman took 8 wickets on the tour whilst bowling with admirable economy, and fared better in Pakistan than the team in general. Nonetheless Odhiambo's form is the silver lining to a very dark cloud.

It's hard to gauge what the Kenyan coaching team might see as a success at WCL Division Two this year. Finishing in the bottom two of six would see them relegated to Division Three for 2017, while the top two will qualify them for 2015-17 ICC Intercontinental Cup.

While the former would be an unmitigated disaster, the latter would be a significant step back towards a seat at the elite Associate table. With the Netherlands' squad looking stronger than any other, and a number of banana skins such as Nepal, it will be a case of sink or swim as Kenya embark on their first tournament of the post-Tikolo era.

Previous previews: Uganda, Canada, Namibia, Nepal

Kenya WCLd2 Fixtures:

17 Jan - Namibia v Kenya (Wanderers, Windhoek)

18 Jan - Kenya v Canada (Wanderers Affies, Windhoek)

19 Jan - Rest/reserve day

20 Jan - Kenya v Uganda (United, Windhoek)

21 Jan - Kenya v Netherlands (Wanderers, Windhoek)

22 Jan - Rest/reserve day

23 Jan - Nepal v Kenya (Wanderers Affies)

24 Jan - Final (Wanderers), 3rd v 4th play-off (United), 5th v 6th play-off (Wanderers Affies)

All matches are scheduled to start at 09.30 local time.