Kenya lauds end to Zimbabwe player upheaval

Published: Thursday, February 9, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Nairobi:Kenya has welcomed the end of a four-month strike by Zimbabwe's national cricket team ahead of the Kenyan side's proposed tour of the southern African nation this month.

Kenya is to leave for Harare on February 20 and local cricket officials said the step would improve their country's chances of qualifying for the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in India in October.

"It's good news not only for Zimbabwe, but for us as well," said Cricket Kenya chief executive Tom Tikolo.

"That Zimbabwe have solved their problems, especially with the playing unit, gives us all the hope to lay a claim on the One-Day table rankings," he told AFP on Thursday.

Kenya, which is to play five One-day matches against Zimbabwe, lost its place in the ICC one-day rankings last year after featuring in only five ODI's since 2003.

After Zimbabwe, Tikolo said Kenya will be required to play a further One-day match in Bangladesh in March to get back into the top 10 in the ICC rankings which would guarantee them a place in the champions trophy.

The March 10-24 tri-series in Bangladesh also features Zimbabwe.

Last month, the interim committee of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) announced they would not play any more Tests in 2006 although they were still committed to honouring their One-day commitments.

The decision was taken after a series of woeful international performances as well as the player strike as members of the national squad became increasingly frustrated with the way the game was being run in the country.

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