Thatscricket - News - Kenya sack cricketers for indiscipline
Published: Friday, February 2, 2001, 23:45 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2000
Nairobi: The Kenya Cricket Association (KCA) has sacked 11 national team players, accusing them of indiscipline, and cancelled a proposed tour of India and Bangladesh. The players, whose contracts have been terminated, include captain Maurice Odumbe and two opening batsman Ravindu Shah and Kennedy Otieno. Addressing a press conference in Nairobi on Wednesday, KCA chairman Jimmy Rayani said the players had held the country at ransom when they threatened not to honour an international match against the visiting Sri Lanka 'A' side last month. On the eve of the match at the Coastal town of Mombasa, the players made a number of demands, including a salary hike, before taking on Sri Lanka. "The unwarranted action by the players resulted in a negative publicity for Kenyan cricket. It is surprising to note that they failed to take into consideration that holding the KCA to ransom prior to international commitments do not help them or Kenyan cricket. "These actions may result in international teams shying away from agreeing to be involved in matches in Kenya," Rayani said. After Kenya gained International Cricket Council (ICC) One-day status in 1997, the players signed a contract that entitled them to earn monthly salaries and other allowances enjoyed by top cricketing nations. The KCA has accused the 11 players of breaking their obligations as per clause 3 of the contract, which demands that the players should be available to play all the time. "It is against this background that Kenya's tour of India and Bangladesh due to start on February 11 has now been cancelled," Rayani said. However, the players defended themselves against the KCA chairman's accusations, saying, "We were not holding Kenya at ransom.""We did these things because we felt we were being neglected. The KCA officials were not taking care of our needs and did not want to listen to us," captain Odumbe said on Wednesday."Cricket is our livelihood and they cannot deny us the game. It's inappropriate for them to terminate our contracts. Why can't they sort out our issues and let us continue with our livelihood," Odumbe pointed out.