It's strange eyeing the ICC T20 World Cup from afar – with not a team of local interest participating!
As Clay Muganda so aptly put it in his Kenya Daily Nation Outside Edge column (March 17), it is a matter of both concern and some disgrace that there is no other participant at the Bangladesh contest from Africa than the two Test-playing nations, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
West Africa we can rule out, they are still on a learning curve, albeit a slow one; Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana likewise. But Kenya, Namibia and Uganda? What a crying shame that neither one nor other of these cricket-playing nations is represented.
For Kenya it must be particularly galling, now that the Kenya rugby side ranks higher globally than its cricketers; yet only 11 years ago Kenya were semi-finalists in the ICC cricket World Cup and 20 years ago finalists in the ICC Trophy, in Nairobi. How have the 'mighty minnows' fallen!
Uganda, for their part, have been more a cradle of cricket than Kenya – indeed it was Ugandans who brought the game to black Kenyans – and they not only have an enterprising league structure but were also the driving force behind the recently introduced East Africa Premier League/East African Cup (2011) which then Cricket Kenya (CK) chief executive Tom Sears seized and ran with, calling it his 'brainchild'!
Of Namibia, who take part under the Zimbabwe and South Africa league structure, at least at one-day and T20 levels, more was expected of them by dint of their experience. They have made great strides recently, though, for a nation so sparsely populated; and they will bounce back. Of the three – and they were only Plate winners in that ICC 1994 Trophy competition in which Uganda didn't have a team at all – they are most likely to make an impression in the near future. Uganda, if they stick to their guns and employ a non-South African coach, will also bounce back.
But Kenya? Sorry Kenya, how far has been their fall that, under the present hapless administration, it is unlikely they will see much joy for several years.
One hopes otherwise, but the runes are not good. The words 'Augean stables' come readily to mind.
Is there a Hercules readily available?