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WC 2003 - Patil to find his footing at home despite sensation

Published: Thursday, March 13, 2003, 18:07 [IST]
 
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Bloemfontein: Kenya coach Sandeep Patil said on Wednesday he will be heading back to India after the World Cup despite his team's surprise success at the tournament.Patil, who saw his non-Test team thrash fellow Africans Zimbabwe by seven wickets to advance to the semi-finals, explained his contract was up."I signed a four-year contract just after the last World Cup which ends at the conclusion of the tournament," the former Indian Test star said.

"I have decided to return to India. I don't have a position to go back to but Mr (Jagmohan) Dalmiya, the Indian Board president, has shown an interest."Patil, a member of India's World Cup-winning team in 1983, will hope to guide his new team to victory over his old one when the sides meet in the Durban semi-final on March 20."India is a great side. Our aim was always to reach the Super Six. But if we play good cricket anything is possible."Patil modestly insisted that all the praise for Kenya's success, its first in 15 One-day Internationals against Test nation Zimbabwe, belonged to the team and captain Steve Tikolo.

"I'm delighted but all the credit belongs to the players. We had some great bowling at the start with Martin Suji (three for 19) and our spinners bowled well."And there was some very strong batting too," said Patil referring to the unbroken fourth wicket stand of 73 between Thomas Odoyo (43 not out) and Maurice Odumbe (38 not out) which saw Kenya home with 24 overs to spare."Steve and his team proved a point here," Patil added, following intense criticism of Kenya's Super Six participation after it was gifted points when New Zealand forfeited its match in Nairobi for a group match due to security reasons."Steve has led from the front.

He hasn't been at his best with the bat but you can't keep a good batsman down and I'm sure a big score is just around the corner."Patil added he hoped the International Cricket Council (ICC) would recognise Kenya's performances, which were in stark contrast to those of Bangladesh, the 10th and youngest Test nation, who failed to win a single match at this World Cup."I hope the ICC take notice of this performances. It's a great day for Kenyan cricket but I hope they keep the feet on the ground."Copyright AFP 2001

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