Twenty20 boosts Kenyan cricket hopes

Published: Friday, March 18, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Nairobi:The introduction of the Twenty20 tournament into Kenyan cricket has helped bring together dissenting players ahead of the crucial decision on the country's future at this week's International Cricket Council Board meeting in India, officials said.

The tournament which got underway in February reaches its climax this Sunday with top club Swamibapa playing Nairobi Jaffreys at the Nairobi Gymkhana club.

Despite their differences which stemmed from the strike by the senior players last October, the event has been a healing process with all the players who have been training separately coming together to play.

Swamibapa, led by the former national team captain Steve Tikolo defeated Aga Khan Sports Centre by 26 runs with allrounder Lamech Onyango, who had sided with the youngsters during the strike leading the way with three wickets for 28.

Jaffreys overcame the two-time Nairobi provincial league champions Kanbis by six wickets to reach the final.

With the ICC set to make its much-awaited decision on Kenya, Sunday's final is one way of healing the rift as the players resume training for the season's two qualifying round matches of the ICC Intercontinental Cup tournament against Namibia and Uganda.

The first match against Namibia was put off indefinitely last month following the management crisis.

"It is important for the matches to be rescheduled for Kenya to join the international fold," said one cricket official.

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