WC 2003 - Its no fairytale, its all of hard work: Tikolo

Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2003, 18:40 [IST]
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Durban: Kenya captain Steve Tikolo said on Monday that the unheralded Africans' achievement in becoming the first non-Test nation to reach a World Cup semi-final was no fairytale in his eyes."Everybody has their own theories as to why we've done well," Tikolo told reporters at Kingsmead ahead of Thursday's day-night semi-final against India."But to us it's no fairytale. We've worked hard for this and now that's paying dividends."Tikolo, who has been suffering with tonisilitis, declared himself fully fit ahead of the big match. "I'm feeling much better," he said, adding the team's other injury worries were also gone.These included wicket-keeper Kennedy Otieno who was struck a painful blow on the elbow in the process of being bowled by Australia speedster Brett Lee on Saturday."Kennedy has no fracture. Yesterday his arm was a bit numb but he's fine now," said Tikolo, adding that Maurice Odumbe and Thomas Odoyo were also fit to play.Kenya coach Sandeep Patil said his side, which has beaten three Test nations Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh so far in the World Cup, could spring one more upset."We've come far and we'd like to go further. We have played good cricket and we have tremendous confidence. The boys will give it their best shot on Thursday," Patil said.Patil, a member of India's World Cup winning team in 1983, said no team will ever take Kenya lightly again."I don't know if other teams have taken us lightly; they are not taking us lightly now," he said."All the teams came here to win the World Cup not just to stand around at the opening ceremony."I enjoyed my cricket in the 1980s, winning the World Cup was a very pleasant memory, and with Kenya now I have the same sort of feeling."But the good thing about this Kenyan team is that its feet are still on the ground."We are playing with nothing to lose and it does help. We've beaten India in India. In One-day cricket the team that plays well stands a good chance of winning."Kenya leg spinner Collins Obuya, who spun Sri Lanka to defeat, was smashed for 62 runs in eight wicketless overs by Australia on Saturday.But Tikolo was confident Obuya would recover by Thursday."We've seen Collins turn into a good leg spinner. This is a new game. He'll bounce back."Copyright AFP 2001

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