Kenya FlagKenya Squad
Current ranking2 (ICC) 4 (CricketEurope)
ODI record since 2007 World Cup Played 18 Won 6 Lost 10 NR 2
Group phase schedule 1 April: Netherlands, Senwes Park
2 April: UAE, Isak Steyl Stadium
4 April: Afghanistan, Absa Puk Oval
6 April: Bermuda, Senwes Park
8 April: Denmark, Absa Puk Oval
Key playersSteve Tikolo, Thomas Odoyo, Hiren Varaiya
Wise Old HeadSteve Tikolo
Emerging playersAlex Obanda, Elijah Otieno
CoachAndy Kirsten
PreparationSouth Africa (Benoni)

This will be Kenya's first such tournament since 1996-97: on the last two occasions, in Canada in 2001 and Ireland in 2005, they had full ODI status and qualified automatically for the following World Cup.

They remain a considerable force, however, and will start the competition among the favourites to qualify for the 2011 event, despite the doubts arising from a 5-nil defeat by Zimbabwe and a series of mediocre performances on their recent visit to South Africa.

Kenya team (photo by CricketEurope)Their trump cards remain captain Steve Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo, two of the finest cricketers produced by any Associate country. Tikolo is now 37, but his 56 from 48 balls against Zimbabwe in January proved that he can still take on an international attack.

And Odoyo, with 110 ODI wickets, remains a key figure in an impressive pace attack which also includes Peter Ongondo, Lameck Onyango, Nehemiah Odhiambo, and the promising 21-year-old Elijah Otieno, backed up by the medium pace of Rajesh Bhudia.

But the 30-year-old has suffered a series of injuries lately, and Kenya will need him at full fitness in South Africa.

Slow left-armer Hiren Varaiya, leg-spinner Collins Obuya and off-spinner Jimmy Kamande are the front-line spinners, with Tikolo's off-breaks lending valuable support and Kamande is also a very useful middle-order batsman with a couple of ODI half-centuries to his credit.

It is, perhaps, in the batting that the Kenyans will experience any difficulties they may have in this tournament.

Wicketkeeper Maurice Ouma opened with Kennedy Otieno on the South African tour after Seren Waters' disappointing series against Zimbabwe, but Waters has retained his place and may return to the side. Kenya will, at any event, be looking for a solid start from their openers in order to set up a platform for the talented Alex Obanda, who is averaging 45.16 in ODIs so far Tikolo and the middle order.

Kenya kick off the tournament with what should be their toughest group match, against The Netherlands, but their greatest test will probably come in the Super Eight phase, when they will face four demanding games in the space of seven days.

They will need to be consistently at their best then if skipper Tikolo's worries about their prospects are not to be fulfilled.