Nairobi: With the 2003 World Cup just under 12 months away, members of the South African organising committee led by tournament director Ali Bacher is in Kenya, where two of the 44 matches will be played, to inspect facilities.
The entourage, which consists of media consultants, marketing representatives, civil engineers and security staff arrived in Nairobi on Monday and will also have meetings with Kenya government and cricket officials. Kenya will host New Zealand and Sri Lanka in two pool 'B' matches in Nairobi in February 2003.
It will be Kenya's third consecutive World Cup appearance and Bacher said he hoped Kenya would transform some promising performances into victories. "Kenya has shown it has the potential to do well and it must show that clearly by winning some of its matches," Bacher said.
"I will be very disappointed if that does not happen," added Bacher, who has made it his aim to spread cricket's popularity within Africa. "There are 11 months left before the World Cup and Kenya should set up tours to help prepare the team well for the tournament," added the former managing director of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCSBA).
Kenya lost all its five Group 'A' first round matches in the last World Cup in England and finished at the bottom of the six-team standings. Of particular concern to Bacher is the ever-widening gap between the Test-playing nations and the associate members of the International Cricket Council (ICC). "The gap is still far too huge. We can only reduce the imbalance by organising tournaments and competitions between different countries where the younger nations can learn," he noted.
Kenya has just ended a four-week tour of Sri Lanka, where it played three four-day games and three One-day Internationals against Sri Lanka's 'A' side. The team is scheduled to host English side, MCC, here next week before travelling to Namibia in April for the Emerging Nations Tournament.